asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to ensure that in future regional health authorities will be provided with resources based on assumptions for periods longer than the present two-year period, in order that such authorities may implement existing plans for hospital development.
We hope in the new year to issue to health authorities revised long-term guidance on resources which will provide a sustainable and realistic basis for forward planning.
Although the commissions on capital expenditure are now satisfactory, is my right hon. Friend aware that advantage cannot always be taken of them because the revenue implications cannot be guaranteed? Does he agree that if the two-year period were extended some of those difficulties would be removed?
I understand my hon. and learned Friend's point. He will know that we have issued guidance on the matter, so that when authorities are planning capital spending they also have resource implications in mind.