Local Government Financing

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:52 pm on 29th June 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley 5:52 pm, 29th June 2010

I cannot comment on the detail of what has happened in Sheffield. I agree with the argument that deprivation has to be taken into account. There is no question about that. The idea of the pupil premium is that the money follows the individual rather than catchment areas from the national census. One of the difficulties with many of the calculations is that they have been done not on an individual basis but on a categorised basis.

The hon. Member for Sheffield South East makes a good point that if we cut the Government grant and do not look at the aggregate local government spend, that has an effect. There is an issue to be looked at there. People have asked whether we should cut 25% here, 26% there, 23% there and 27% somewhere else or whether, given that we face such a severe problem, the same figure should be cut everywhere on a formulaic basis. I am quite tempted by the latter argument. I think that that method was used in Sweden, which faced a serious problem. It had the same sort of deficit and it went through the process of getting rid of it.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website