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living in the area who are recorded as being permanently sick and who are on invalidity benefit. The Secretary of State for Social Security has already told us that he intends to eliminate about 700, 000 people who are currently in receipt of invalidity benefit. When they come off invalidity benefit, they will go back on income support. They will then need social work services which are provided through the local authority. When they look to the local authority to provide those services, they will find that the Government have cut the grant and that the local authorities are, therefore, unable to help them. The situation will be even worse than it is at the moment. So it goes on.

The percentage of low-income families across the city of Dundee has not changed since 1981. On many occasions, I have heard the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Monro), the Under-Secretary, shout about the British economic miracle that took place in the 1980s. Where was the British economic miracle in Dundee, in Glasgow, in Edinburgh or in Aberdeen? The percentage of people living on low incomes is the same as it was 10 years ago. The economic miracle bypassed them ; they have never had access to it. Those people need strong local authorities which are able to provide them with the services that they need.

One point that has not been brought out concerns the aggregate external finance figures which are provided in the order. They show, for example, that Tayside region will get a percentage increase next year of 2.2 per cent. As has been pointed out time and time again, that does not make an allowance for care in the community. Once we make an allowance for that, we are talking about a very small increase of less than 1 per cent. or even about a cut, yet councils will face increased demands for their services. There will be a cut in the aggregate external finance available to Dundee district council.

The grant-aided expenditure figures within the aggregate external finance figures show that Tayside regional council will have an increase of 2.56 per cent. The Secretary of State will use that figure for capping purposes. The right hon. Gentleman is actually encouraging Tayside regional council to increase its expenditure above the funding that he is making available to it. That argument applies even more to Dundee district council ; its grant-aided figure allows for an increase of up to 5 per cent. but funding is not provided to cover it.

In effect, the Minister is saying that he is withdrawing central Government support for local government services. At the same time, he is allowing local councils to increase their expenditure, in the hope that he will make local council tax payers pay for that before the Secretary of State steps in to cap the councils. The Secretary of State is desperate to cut public expenditure and he is doing so by back-door methods. He hopes that, at the end of the day, local authorities will be forced to increase their council tax and that they will be blamed for that, and that he and the Government will not be blamed for cutting support for local authorities. That is completely despicable.

It is assumed that any pay awards will be met from efficiency savings. We have heard much nonsense about what that means. Teachers and local government workers have made pay demands which are in excess of 10 per cent. If even 50 per cent. of their demands are met, there will be tremendous cuts in local government services. We have heard much about efficiency savings. The hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) said that one of


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the greatest efficiency savings that could be made arises from school closures. Do Conservative Members think that they should advocate school closures when people in Scotland are calling out for child care facilities and increased nursery provision? The only matter that we are discussing is how to shut schools and pay off teachers to make savings for local authorities. It does not make sense.

The hon. Member for Tayside, North referred to schools falling below what he called the economic level. I remember that argument being used in respect of the mines back in 1984. Uneconomic pits had to be shut down. Why do not Conservative Members, in particular the hon. Member for Dumfries and the right hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Lang), use that argument about farmers? Why do they not say that uneconomic farms have to close down? Why do they pay surpluses to farmers? Why do they subsidise them to set aside fields that they do not even farm? They actually give them public money to do that. We never hear Conservative arguments about economic farms because farmers generally vote Tory. That is why the Government are prepared to pay massive subsidies to farmers.

When it comes to schools and children's futures, we hear Conservative Members talk nonsense about uneconomic schools and having to close them down and leaving kids on the scrap heap. It is no wonder people turn to drugs or to crime, bearing in mind the way that they are treated by the Government. If the debate proves anything, it proves what the Scottish people have always said--that is, that the Conservative party is not fit to be in government. The sooner the people in the south of England realise that, the better it will be for the whole United Kingdom.

9.42 pm

Mr. Eric Clarke (Midlothian) : I shall be very brief because some of my hon. Friends also want to speak.

I should like to add to what my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Chisholm) said about the Lothian region. The people whom I represent in Midlothian district council pay regional and district council rates. Midlothian district council has told me that its grant-aided expenditure for 1994 means a reduction of 0.46 per cent. When we boil that down to money, we see that the district council will lose £439,000 out of a budget of £10.287 million. The gearing effect means that the council tax will rise by 20 per cent. We will have that against a backcloth of unemployment, a wage freeze, lower-paid workers, and even VAT on fuel. The Secretary of State has told us the expenditure that it is appropriate for authorities to spend. Where will economies be made? They will be made among people who can least afford them.

The hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart) is listening not to me but to one of his colleagues who would say that what I am saying is a load of nonsense anyway. It is not nonsense. I am making a plea on behalf of not only my constituents but many others in a similar plight who pay rates to district councils.

I was a county councillor and a regional councillor for 16 years and I know what it means when the Government make cuts. I fought against both Labour and Tory Government cuts in the past. I became the ex-chairman of


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the Labour group because I fought against the Callaghan Government on cuts. I was not elected to local government for cuts ; I was elected to give services to the people whom I represented. That is what we are trying to do here. We are trying to tell the Government that public expenditure cuts are bad. Tory Members, the Minister and the Government seem to think that cuts in public expenditure are great. That is the way with rates and everything ; the stock exchange will hit the ceiling.

Many companies are waiting for the day when the Government start to spend money in local government. I see that as a way of getting out of the recession and giving people what they deserve. There are many other things that the Government are delaying for which we will have to pay a high price in the future. I am talking about the renewal of sewers, housing, hospitals and many other things that come under the so-called umbrella of capital expenditure.

The people of Midlothian are no different from anyone else. They have had cuts. All their industries have been decimated--the coal industry, the carpet industry and the paper industry before that. Many industries, especially electronics, were brought in supposedly to save the locality that I represent. However, we find that they are moving out.

All I can see is an area that needs help and a council that cares. By the way, we may be hoist by our own petard because the council spends money on making the place more beneficial to investors and others in the area. There is hidden poverty behind the facade of so-called prosperity. When we look at the unemployment figures and so on, we see that there is poverty in the community. I have made many appeals to the Secretary of State on behalf of our young people. They cannot get jobs in the collieries or elsewhere. This direct cut in district council expenditure is one of many cuts that these people cannot afford.

I am making a plea to the Secretary of State and I want an answer : how can the Government justify this cut? What have the people of Midlothian or Scotland done to deserve it? Is it the result of the Government's incompetence? As I see it, it goes back to black Wednesday. We are all paying the price for the incompetence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government.

9.47 pm

Mr. Thomas Graham (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde) : Once again, the Secretary of State and the Minister have got the situation wrong with regard to Scotland. They have come forward with proposals that will mean further cuts in the quality of life for the people whom I represent.

Undoubtedly, some of the profound statements made by my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke) went into the deaf ears of the Minister who will blunder on tonight and make the usual decision--cuts, cuts and cuts. He will not listen to my hon. Friend's plea for social services, home help and services for the mentally handicapped. We have already heard pleas about dealing with crime in Scotland. Once again, the Minister will do nothing to help to reduce crime in Scotland, which will continue to rise. We will continue to have the problem of drug barons having more money than the police to furnish their evil trade in drugs.

Earlier, I made an intervention on my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Provan (Mr. Wray) about nursery provision, for which there is a tremendous demand in my area. Unfortunately, local government does not have the


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wherewithal because of the Government's continued savage denial of local finance. Local government cannot get young folk into pre-five education quick enough because there is not enough money. I hope that the Minister is listening to the point that I am going to raise. Scotland has one of the longest coastlines in Europe ; we have literally thousands of miles of coastline. Scotland is one of the most important countries for tourism in Europe, and certainly we contribute a considerable amount to the coffers of Great Britain. Tourists come not just to visit the City of London, Manchester or Birmingham, but to visit Scotland. The revenue that that provides to this country is enormous. If we spent some time, consideration and money in that area, that revenue could increase.

I remember not long ago the town of Salou in Spain was castigated in the papers, and rightly so, for sewage problems which created an unhealthy situation for tourists. Did that fall on deaf ears? No. The people of Spain and Salou realised the consequences of that and proceeded not to bury the sewage or hide it out of sight, but to do something about it. They spent £250 million to solve the problem and to make sure that Salou became an admirable, decent and healthy place to go and have a holiday.

The Government do not recognise the role that local government has to play to ensure that the environment in Scotland is brought up to a decent standard. That would ensure that the American, Canadian, Australian and Japanese tourists all come and spend their money. But what do the Government do?

I often fly to London, and the situation has got that bad that one can see the devastation from up in an airplane. One can see quarries unfilled, and dirty and dank places. When one drives through Britain, what does one see? Rubbish is dumped by the side of the road. There is household and domestic rubbish and, worse, there is business rubbish from businesses which cannot afford to pay the going rate. They are tipping on the fly at night all around the country, and especially in Scotland.

Renfrewshire is becoming one huge tip, because the Government are not providing enough money to allow local companies to develop and dump their rubbish legally. I also use the train, and when I go through Britain and look out of the window it is an appalling sight. There is rubbish strewn about everywhere, and falling buildings and devastation. The Government do nothing.

At one time, folk used to sing songs about the River Clyde. "What a wonderful place, the name of it fills me with pride". If you were going up the Clyde in your wee boat tonight, Madam Speaker, you would need a big brush to clean away the stuff at the side of it after you docked it. I can assure you that our beautiful beaches have been turned into rubbish dumps.

The Minister does not need to believe me. I am sure that he will believe one of the great newspapers of Scotland, the Evening Times , which mentioned that about 40,000 pieces of rubbish had been dug up from a stretch of about one mile on the Ayrshire coast. That is not very far from where the Minister and I live. We do not just fly over rubbish or drive through it--we also sail thorough it.

The Government have not taken on board the serious point that if we wish tourists to come and spend money in Scotland, we must ensure that local government gets sufficient money to clean up our beaches. We must ensure


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that the water supply meets the standards of the European directive, and we must ensure that our sewerage system is the best in the world, and not the worst.

I say to the Minister that, once again, the people of Scotland are getting a shabby deal from the Government. Once again, the Government are savagely reducing the quality of life. Once again, they are denying our people the ability to make a decent living, by failing to ensure that there is a solid and decent tourist industry. I shall finish on this note : why does the Minister not do the right thing and resign?

9.54 pm

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) : Madam Speaker, time-wise we need to press on, but I should like to say that I am appalled by the consequences of the unpicking of the Lothian social work department. My hon. Friends the Members for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Chisholm), for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes), who was a councillor in Edinburgh, and other colleagues have outlined general worries. In view of the time, I shall simply ask six precise questions following long and detailed conversations with John Chant, who is the longest serving director of social work in Britain. He has rightly been awarded a CBE for his work.

First, in removing the statutory requirement to establish a social work committee and appoint a director of social work, how does the Minister envisage that the new councils will carry out their statutory and other responsibilities to provide for the social welfare of their community and ensure accountability for the development of policy and the delivery of service? That question has not yet been answered.

Secondly, is the Minister confident that all of the new councils will be of a size that will enable them to provide the full range of services currently offered by mainland regional social work departments? I pay tribute to what has been done in Strathclyde, Lothian, Tayside and elsewhere in the advancement of social work in recent years. It is a crying shame--I shall not use stronger language--that all the work should be unpicked when Members of Parliament know at first hand from our day-to-day work how it benefits our constituents.

Thirdly, what requirements does the Minister intend to place on the new councils to ensure the preparation of community care plans and plans for the development of criminal justice and child care services? What steps does he intend to take to ensure that such plans are drawn up by people with the relevant qualifications and experience? It is far from clear that the smaller new councils will have such people, particularly specialists.

Fourthly, how does the Minister intend to ensure that the new councils put in place proper systems of professional accountability, develop social care policies, provide appropriate services and deliver those services in an accountable manner? How is that to be done? We have not been told.

Fifthly, in the absence of a social work committee or a director of social work, what arrangements does the Minister propose to make to ensure that sufficient staff are trained and deployed to meet the statutory requirements of the mental health and child care legislation? There has been no indication of how that will be done. My hon. Friend the Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) knows a great deal about such matters.


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Unfortunately, he serves on the Standing Committee which is considering the Criminal Justice Bill, not the Committee considering the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill.

Dr. Godman : Does my hon. Friend accept that the burdens that are placed on our social work departments will be exacerbated by many of the clauses in the Criminal Justice Bill? Those additional burdens have been ignored by the odd-job lot on the Conservative Benches.

Mr. Dalyell : As the member of the Scottish Labour group on the Criminal Justice Bill, my hon. Friend is in a position to know. It is a serious matter.

Sixthly, local authorities are now substantial purchasers of social care services. How do the Government intend to ensure that local authorities give first consideration to the needs of the person to be served and the quality of care provided? What steps have been proposed to avoid service provision being led solely on the basis of cost? Do the Government intend to require local authorities to consider and evaluate any proposed contract for the provision of social care services by a suitably qualified or experienced person? All my colleagues on the Opposition Benches could go on and on about the subject. Those questions have to be answered very soon and not at the fag end of the Committee stage of any Bill.

10 pm

Mr. Henry McLeish (Fife, Central) : The debate has once again highlighted the divide in the House on local government issues. One the one hand, the Government and their supporters are unwilling, on any occasion, to praise the tremendous work done in Scotland by the employees who provide some of the best services that one can find anywhere in Europe. We have heard the usual snide comments about inefficiency and lack of value for money. That is not the local government scene that Opposition Members know. We know that local government provides excellent services in Scotland and it would at least show a little humility if the Government sometimes allowed their consciences to get the better of them and if they praised the excellent work that is done.

On the other hand, Opposition Members praise the work going on. We have to sit through debates on local government in Committee and in the House, but we hear precious little appreciation of the efficiency, effectiveness and economy demonstrated by Scottish local authorities, in the face of the tremendous difficulties that have been heaped on them year after year by the Conservative Administration.

The contribution by my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Provan (Mr. Wray) was one of the highlights of the debate. He made a passionate speech and spoke at first hand about the real issues facing Scotland and the real context within which the revenue support grant settlement should be viewed. He mentioned poverty, unemployment and many of the other problems that local authorities are trying to tackle. Sadly, they are doing so in very difficult circumstances because of the Government's policies, attitudes and prejudices. Such debates are always characterised by technicalities. The Government like to hide behind a smokescreen of revenue support grant orders. We hear from Government


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Ministers that every order is better than those of the previous year. We hear that the order will allow councils to cut council taxes and to expand services. If any of that were true, there might be something in Government policies for Opposition Members to praise, but the local government settlement does none of those things. It is another smokescreen to hide continuing cuts at the very heart of local government in Scotland.

As if the local authority settlement were not bad enough, the existing problems of cash-starved services endure. We can see that from the problems with crime, care in the community, housing and--at a time of rising unemployment--economic development.

One other consideration will loom large for the Government and for Ministers during the next two or three years--reorganisation. How eloquently my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) posed his questions about this crazy reorganisation and the bill, which will have to be measured in higher council taxes for the Scots or in massive cuts in services and dramatic job losses.

That is the price that we are paying and will continue to pay for the Government's incompetence and mismanagement of the Scottish economy and-- what is more important--for a Government who, after 15 years, have refused to face up to the fact that we have genuine and endemic structural problems in Scotland, which are not being tackled.

This evening, it is important for us to move beyond the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of the motley crew on the Government Benches and to talk about the settlement. We have heard that, in cash terms, it is supposed to be yet another that captures the plaudits, as far as the Government are concerned, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Over the next three years, we will witness a cut of a third of £1 billion in real terms from local authority budgets. How can that be squared with an excellent settlement on revenue support? It simply cannot, because significant real terms cuts will be made. How do the Government measure up to that? Is the Minister willing to explain away that cut or is he willing to carry on with the smokescreen in an attempt to deceive Scottish public opinion into thinking that we are making significant progress?

Another issue that we must consider is the naive simplicity demonstrated, once again, by Conservative Back Benchers. We have heard, of course, of the links between the local authority settlement and the possible cuts in or freezing of council tax levels. The Government do not understand that those levels are based on a number of factors, not just the revenue support grant settlement. Those factors include expenditure levels, the possibility of capping and non-statutory expenditure in which many local authorities are involved. My own regional council, for example, provides one of the best concessionary transport systems anywhere in Britain. For its trouble, however, it does not get a penny from this mean Government. The Prime Minister is always talking about expanding nursery provision, but "Where's the beef, Prime Minister?" In Scotland, some of the excellent provision does not get any help from the Government. We have heard enough from the Government about how they help out local authority services, but in key services non-statutory spending is going ahead because Labour councils care about and appreciate real need, unlike the Government.


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The Government's settlement falls well short of what would be needed, in real terms, to keep ahead of inflation. At a time of massive problems, it also falls well short of the expectations of Scots. It falls well below the expectations of local authority leaders. Senior officials in local government, of course, know at first hand the problems that they face.

We must also consider services. The settlement will do nothing to deal with the 1 million crimes that are committed in Scotland every year. We have a crime epidemic under the so-called law and order party. The settlement will not provide for an extra policeman or provide an extra opportunity for a young person involved in crime to be caught. Once again, we see the nonsense of a settlement that does not match expectations in an area where the Government are trying to take credit.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Provan said, the settlement will not help to tackle the endemic problems of poverty. Some 900,000 Scots, or one in six, live in families where income support is the only source of income. How do the orders square with the reality of misery for hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland and nearly 250,000 children under the age of 16? They simply do not. The Government are trying to deceive all who listen to their hollow promises about real improvements in revenue support grant.

Unemployment has been mentioned by my hon. Friends. The Government have seen unemployment rise in Scotland by nearly 4,000 a week in the past month. Again, they are constraining our local authorities from tackling economic development in the way that they want. We could put the unemployed back to work. Our local authorities could help. We could give the young people the skills that they need, but we need the tools to do that. That means hard cash, not vacuous comments from a Government who simply do not care, but who try to deceive people into thinking that they do.

According to the revenue support grant settlement, £5 million will go towards local government costs of reorganisation. Even by the Government's estimates, however, those costs will be £200 million. According to COSLA's expectations, they will be nearly £720 million. Once again, however, we find that the Government will not provide any substantial help towards the massive costs involved.

The settlement is a bad one by any stretch of the imagination. It is a settlment that will steal a third of £1 billion from local authorities and will not go even towards providing the costs, of up to £720 million, of the crazy reorganisation. The message to Government is clear and simple : you can fool some of the people all of the time, but Scots believe that it is time for a rethink about the need for serious money to tackle the serious problem that Scotland is enduring.

10.9 pm

Mr. Stewart : May I make three points in winding up the debate? First, the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) criticised a speech that I did not make rather than the one that I made. None of my hon. Friends has criticised the hard work done by many people in local government. whatever their political party, and officials throughout Scotland.

Secondly, I understand that the Opposition intend to vote against the orders. The hon. Member for Hamilton


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(Mr. Robertson) confirmed that. As we know from the press, he is a man of great parliamentary guile and, as he constantly boasts, lots of Conservative Members will doubtless vote with him in the Lobby. I point out for the record that, if he succeeds in the vote on the first order, he will deprive local authorities in Scotland of £31.8 million to which they are entitled. If he succeeds in the vote on the second order, he will deprive local authorities in Scotland of £100 million a week from the beginning of April. But if that is the Labour party's policy, so be it.

Thirdly, I have wound up these debates when the right hon. Bruce Millan and the hon. Members for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) and for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) have led for the Opposition. All three right hon. and hon. Gentlemen had one thing in common : they gave every impression that they had read the orders and were aware of the details and figures concerned. The hon. Member for Hamilton hardly referred to the order.

Mr. Salmond : Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Stewart : No, I must get on for a moment.

My hon. Friends the Members for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker), for Kincardine and Deeside (Mr. Kynoch), and for Ayr (Mr. Gallie) rightly supported the orders.

Before I deal with some of the general points that have been raised, may I respond to some of the detailed points? The hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) made a fair point about the usefulness of planning for current local authority expenditure. I accept that point in principle, which is why last year, for the first time, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced not only Government support expenditure and aggregate Exchequer finance figures for 1994-95, but his plans for the forward two years of the 1993 public expenditure survey--1995-96 and 1996-97. The hon. Gentleman will accept the constraints, but in principle he made a fair and proper point.

The hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood) argued that the client group methodology was biased against rural authorities. I have heard urban authorities argue that the methodology is biased in favour of rural authorities, but representations from his authority and others will no doubt continue.

The hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) asked me a specific question about the differences in the distribution between the city of Aberdeen and Kincardine and Deeside. Those relate to the two authorities' different loan and leasing charges this year. As it is fairly late in the evening, may I write to the hon. Gentleman explaining that point in detail?

Throughout the debate, Opposition Members have argued that local government in Scotland was badly treated by this Conservative Government compared to the last Labour Government. I remind them that, on the 1977-78 settlement, the president of COSLA said : "To have been told by the Secretary of State that the percentage grant was being savagely cut by 4 per cent. was something none of us expected."

I refer Opposition Members, including the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Chisholm), to an excellent recent article by David Begg, chairman of the finance committee of Lothian regional council.

Dr. Godman : Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Stewart : Mr. Begg is much respected by Opposition Members, and he has said that, according to his


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estimates, local government employment has increased in Scotland by 3.9 per cent., in full-time equivalent jobs. He went on, in the Local Government Chronicle of 9 February, to say that his figures "destroy the myth that 14 years of Conservative Government have decimated services and destroyed jobs."

I commend the article to Opposition Members.

Mr. Salmond : On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Am I right in thinking that the debate on the orders can continue until 11.30 pm? The Minister seems painfully unaware of that, given his refusal to give way to hon. Members who have sat through the entire debate. Is there some agreement to which neither you nor I is a party about when we must proceed to vote on these orders?

Madam Speaker : The hon. Gentleman is correct : I am party to no agreement. The debate can go on until 11.30 pm

Mr. Stewart : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was about to give way to the hon. Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman)--I just wanted to get my point on the record.

Dr. Godman : Does the Minister intend to write to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) dealing with each of his six important questions about the operation of our social work departments? If so, will the hon. Gentleman be good enough to put a copy of his letter in the Library? They were criticial questions dealing with the need to continue the efficient operation of our social work departments.

Mr. Stewart : Of course, the hon. Gentleman's questions were in order, but he will recognise that they were not specifically related to the 1994-95 settlement. They were, however, related to the broader issues covered by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill, and if the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) raises those questions in Committee, I shall be happy to deal with them. If not, I shall of course respond to him in writing and put a copy of the letter in the Library.

Mr. Salmond : The Minister heard me refer to a Library analysis which seems to demonstrate a continuing squeeze on Scottish local government over the next three years. I know that the figures have been supplied to the hon. Gentleman by his new parliamentary private secretary-- the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker). Does he broadly accept the Library's analysis?

Mr. Stewart : I believe that this is a realistic but tight settlement. Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has ever said anything different. I would point out, though, that per capita expenditure in Scotland is 34 per cent. higher than it is in England and 26 per cent. higher than it is in Wales. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman will not maintain that Scotland is being hard done by in this settlement. The total level of support for Scottish local authorities, compared with support for English and Welsh authorities, is very high.

Mr. Salmond : On a point of order, Madam Speaker. There is a great deal of noise in the Chamber, and I am sure that the Minister missed my question about the Library figures--at any rate, he avoided answering it.


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Madam Speaker : A number of conversations are going on. I do not want to stop them, but I should be obliged if they were not quite so noisy.

Mr. Stewart : I believe that, although the settlement is tight-- nobody denies that--it is realistic in terms of the increases in local authority expenditure that have been made in Scotland in recent years against a background of the need for public expenditure constraint. I am grateful to my hon. Friends for warmly welcoming the settlement as realistic and reasonable. I commend the orders to the House.

Question put : --

The House divided : Ayes 305, Noes 266.

Division No. 148] [10.19 pm

AYES

Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)

Aitken, Jonathan

Alexander, Richard

Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)

Amess, David

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Ashby, David

Aspinwall, Jack

Atkins, Robert

Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)

Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Matthew (Southport)

Banks, Robert (Harrogate)

Bates, Michael

Batiste, Spencer

Bendall, Vivian

Beresford, Sir Paul

Biffen, Rt Hon John

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Body, Sir Richard

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

Booth, Hartley

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)

Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia

Bowden, Andrew

Bowis, John

Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes

Brandreth, Gyles

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brooke, Rt Hon Peter

Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)

Browning, Mrs. Angela

Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)

Budgen, Nicholas

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butcher, John

Butler, Peter

Butterfill, John

Carlisle, John (Luton North)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cash, William

Channon, Rt Hon Paul

Clappison, James

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coe, Sebastian

Colvin, Michael

Congdon, David

Conway, Derek

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)

Coombs, Simon (Swindon)

Cope, Rt Hon Sir John

Couchman, James

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)

Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)

Davies, Quentin (Stamford)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Day, Stephen

Deva, Nirj Joseph

Devlin, Tim

Dickens, Geoffrey

Dicks, Terry

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Duncan, Alan

Duncan-Smith, Iain

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Sir Anthony

Dykes, Hugh

Eggar, Tim

Elletson, Harold

Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter


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