Expenditure and Taxation Levels

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 1:50 pm on 20th November 1996.

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Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling 1:50 pm, 20th November 1996

I prepared an answer earlier. I think that the hon. Gentleman's question was about the need for more local authority expenditure. I draw his attention to Glasgow. Last year, I gave Glasgow an additional £15 million in aggregated external finance and was criticised by the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson). We now find that the council is unsure of how many social workers it employs in its social work department. It does not know the number. It has also overspent its budget by £3.5 million. Local authority expenditure in Scotland is 30 per cent. higher than in England. Grant support from central Government is 44 per cent. higher. The problem with local authorities in Scotland is that they are run by the Labour party, not that they are underfunded by the Government.