Local Government: Borrowing

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much and what proportion of (a) total council borrowing and (b) council borrowing for housing was sourced through the public works loan board in each year since 2009-10.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Under the Local Government Act 2003 local authorities are able to borrow freely without Government approval. Local authorities must comply with the prudential framework when making decisions on borrowing. The Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) is one potential source of borrowing available to local authorities. The Government collects data on the total borrowing activity of local authorities each year. However, this does not split out the sources of borrowing. This data can be accessed using the following hyperlink:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-capital-expenditure-receipts-and-financing.

Data is collected on the amount of local authority borrowing that is outstanding each year and this is split out by category, including PWLB. The data shows the borrowing activity from 2013 up to the current financial year. It is collected on a quarterly basis. It is available through the following hyperlink:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-local-government-finance#borrowing-and-investment.

Local authorities do not borrow specifically for individual projects but do so on an aggregate basis. Therefore, it is not possible to identify borrowing from PWLB that has been used for expenditure on housing.

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