Rate Support Grant

– in the House of Commons at 11:18 am on 16th November 1979.

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Photo of Mr Hilary Miller Mr Hilary Miller , Bromsgrove and Redditch 11:18 am, 16th November 1979

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker—one of a slightly less sensational kind but of very great interest to all hon. Members. In a written answer this week the Secretary of State for the Environment informed me that he would be announcing the rate support grant settlement today. We have had no statement in the House today. This is a matter of very great concern, and we have not had an opportunity of questioning the Secretary of State about it.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

It would take a clever man to find out what point of order the hon. Gentleman raised, because announcements by the Government are not my concern.


Photo of Mr Peter Hardy Mr Peter Hardy , Rother Valley

Further to the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Bromsgrove and Redditch (Mr. Miller), Mr. Speaker. Surely the function of this House in terms of approving the supply of funds to the Executive is very important. As the funds to be disbursed under the rate support grant may well be, although grossly inadequate, the largest single amount of money disbursed by the Government during the current financial year, is it not regrettable that the announcement will be made in a rather furtive manner? If it is to be made today, ought it not be made before the House rises this afternoon?

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

That is not for me to say. I am sure that the matter will be coming before the House, but how the announcement is made is not my concern.