Previous Section Index Home Page

Local Government Finance

28. Mrs. Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next plans to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss local government finance. [8160]

Mr. Kynoch: On 17 January.

Mr. Gallie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will announce the 1997-98 grant-aided expenditure figures for each Scottish local authority. [10454]

18 Dec 1996 : Column: 679

Mr. Michael Forsyth: The 1997-98 grant-aided expenditure figure for each local authority is set out in the table. Each authority's allocation of the GAE total has been determined having regard to the client group methodology which is agreed with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in the distribution committee of the working party on local government finance. The allocation also takes account of the phasing out of the self-financed transitional mismatch scheme which COSLA proposed and I agreed to last year in the light of local government reorganisation.

The table excludes figures for the urban programme GAE which is not allocated to individual authorities. The addition of this amount--£56,894 million--brings the GAE total to the sum of £5,421 million which I announced on 26 November.

In addition to each authority's 1997-98 GAE, the table shows the change as compared with the 1996-97 assessment in both cash and percentage terms after adjusting for the phasing out of local government reorganisation costs and the transfer of responsibility for funding nursery education--and also relative 1997-98 GAEs per head of population.

Total GAE 1997-98Increase from 1996-97 GAE per head (indexed: 100 = lowest)
Aberdeen City196,479-329-0.17100
Argyll and Bute104,6918970.86128
Dumfries and Galloway155,1903,1322.06117
Dundee City164,8846310.38122
East Ayrshire128,6653,1032.47117
East Dunbartonshire106,0224,2664.18106
East Lothian82,7153,5764.51105
East Renfrewshire84,7355,1986.52107
North Ayrshire145,4615,5663.97116
North Lanarkshire337,9245,6471.70115
Orkney Islands28,870-287-0.98162
Perthshire and Kinross128,9624,6083.70108
Borders, Scottish110,9863,4763.23117
Shetland Islands37,6437,81526.20182
South Ayrshire115,9763,9343.50113
South Lanarkshire311,0497,6432.51113
West Dunbartonshire112,348-411-0.36130
West Lothian151,3433,1572.13113
Western Isles43,6503990.92168

Forestry Commission Exports

29. Mr. Pawsey: To ask the Secretary of state for Scotland what is the value of Forestry Commission exports; and what are its principal markets. [8161]

18 Dec 1996 : Column: 680

Mr. Kynoch: The Forestry Commission is not currently exporting any timber. It is the principal supplier to an expanding and world-competitive domestic wood processing industry.

Energy Efficiency

30. Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what initiatives his Department has taken this year to promote energy efficiency in housing in Scotland. [8162]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson: The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 and the Energy Conservation Act 1996 were brought into effect in Scotland on 1 December 1996. Guidance on the legislation has been issued to all local authorities. In addition, the Scottish Office has published research reports on energy conservation and planning and the evaluation of energy efficiency initiatives.

Economic Co-operation (Northern Ireland)

31. Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of state for Scotland if he will make a statement on the prospects for closer economic o-operation between Scotland and Northern Ireland. [8163]

Mr. Kynoch: There are no specific measures to encourage economic co-operation between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. Businesses in all parts of the United Kingdom will continue to prosper as a result of the success of the Government's economic policies.

Electricity Interconnector

32. Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the Scottish Trades Union Congress to discuss the impact of his decision on the proposed overland electricity transmission line in Ayrshire which forms part of the Northern Ireland-Scotland interconnector. [8164]

Mr. Kynoch: My right hon. Friend has had no request for a meeting from STUC on this matter.

Social Work

33. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the financing of social work in Scotland. [8165]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: The provision and financing of most social work is for local authorities to determine. Local authorities will have £1,010 million in grant-aided expenditure in 1997-98 for social work. This compares with £950 million in 1996-97 and £658 million in 1992-93.

Government Expenditure and Tax Revenues

34. Mr. Congdon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the central estimate of the extent by which total government expenditure in Scotland exceeded tax revenues raised in Scotland in 1994-95. [8166]

Mr. Michael Forsyth: Excluding North sea revenues and privatisation proceeds, in 1994-5 Government expenditure in Scotland was estimated to be £8.2 billion higher than tax revenues raised in Scotland.

18 Dec 1996 : Column: 681

Structural Budget Deficit

35. Mr. Jessel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received on the extent to which Scotland has a structural budget deficit in the Government finances. [8167]

Mr. Michael Forsyth: I have received very few representations.

Trunk Road Improvements

36. Sir Hector Monro: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has for trunk road improvements in the next three years for Dumfries and Galloway. [8168]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: In addition to the final phase of the upgrading of the A74 to motorway standard, we will undertake a major project on the A75 at the Glen. A route action plan will be carried out on the A75 to identify and prepare a programme of further improvements along the route. On the A77, traffic management and calming measures are currently being prepared for Maybole, Kirkoswald, Lendalfoot, Ballantrae and Stranraer. On the A76, a variety of schemes to improve visibility, junctions and access will be carried out over the next three years, including further improvements at Enterkinfoot, and traffic-calming measures in Thornhill and Sanquhar.

Local Authority Borrowing

37. Mr. Robert G. Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the level of local authority borrowing in Scotland; and what is the equivalent borrowing in English local authorities. [8169]

Mr. Kynoch: At 31 March 1996, the total local authority loan debt outstanding was £9.7 billion. The comparable estimated figure for English local authorities was £37 billion.


38. Mr. Richards: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received from business regarding the future governance of Scotland.[8170]

Mr. Michael Forsyth: The proposed tax-raising parliament has been denounced by the Scottish chambers of commerce, by the Institute of Directors, by the CBI Scotland and by 78 per cent. of Scotland's major companies surveyed by Scottish Business Insider magazine.

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received concerning a tax-raising Parliament for Scotland. [8158]

Mr. Forsyth: I have received many representation from throughout Scotland and England supporting the Government's commitment to the Union and expressing concern about the cost of a tartan tax-raising Scottish Parliament.

18 Dec 1996 : Column: 682

Geriatric Patients

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to increase the transfer of geriatric patients from hospitals to residential or nursing homes in the community. [8153]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: It is a matter of clinical judgment whether or not an elderly in-patient should be discharged to a nursing or residential care home.

Next Section Index Home Page