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In this chapter we propose to give an account of the finance of the County Council. For the practical management of their financial business the County Council must, from time to time, appoint a Finance Committee.
All receipts of the County Council are to be paid into the "County Fund,” and all payments are to be made out of it. The county fund is divided into several accounts, namely:
The Exchequer Contribution Account.
(1.) To the Exchequer Contribution Account will be carried the sums paid to the Council, in respect of certain licences, and in respect of a grant from the Treasury, called the "Probate Duty Grant."
From the Exchequer Contribution Account will be paid certain grants to local authorities in the county, and if there is any surplus, a transfer will be made out of it to the General County Account, and if there be still a surplus, it will be divided between the Special County Accounts and certain local authorities.
(2.) To the General County Account are to be carried the whole or part of the surplus of the Exchequer Contribution Account, after certain payments have been made out of it, and the contributions assessed on the whole area of the county for “General County Purposes” besides sums, in certain cases, receivable from other local authorities, and miscellaneous receipts.
From the General County Account are to be paid all costs incurred in respect of general county purposes, i.e., purposes declared by the Local Government Act, 1888, or any other Act to be general county purposes, and all purposes to which the whole area of the county is liable to be assessed to county contributions.
(3.) To each Special County Account are carried the transfer, if any, made thereto out of the surplus of the Exchequer
1 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. So.
Contribution Account, after the necessary payments have been made therefrom to the General County Account, and the contributions assessed on that part of the area of the county which is liable to be assessed to the corresponding “Special County Purpose,” besides sums receivable in certain cases from other Local Authorities, and miscellaneous receipts.
From each Special County Account are to be paid the expenses incurred in respect of the corresponding special county purpose, i.e., the purpose for which county contributions to that Special County Accourt may be assessed.
The county contributions assessed for both general and special county purposes are to be raised by rates. We propose to discuss first the Exchequer Contribution
Exchequer Account and its distribution, and then the raising of the Contribution additional contributions necessary for the general and special county purposes.
The Commissioners of Inland Revenue will pay into the Bank of England, to an account called the Local Taxation Account, from time to time, the proceeds of the duties collected by the Commissioners in each county in respect of the certain licences called “Local Taxation Licences,” of which a list is given in the first schedule to the Local Government Act, 1888.
Under the direction of the Local Government Board, the amount certified by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to have been collected in respect of Local Taxation Licences in each county (including the county boroughs in the county) is to be paid to the County Council of that county and to the Town Councils of those county boroughs. The proportions the County Council and those Town Councils will respectively receive will depend upon the equitable adjustment of the financial arrangements between the county and those boroughs to be made in the manner explained in Chapter 1.2
The proceeds of such licences in the financial year ending the 31st March, 1888, amounted to £3,000,000 approximately. In that year, however, no licence was required for locomotives, horses and mules, or horse-dealers. Under the Excise Duties (Local Purposes) Bill it is proposed to render a licence necessary for locomotives, horses and mules, and horse-dealers, and it is estimated that the duties on these licences (known as the Horse and Wheel Tax) will produce about £800,000.
The Commissioners of Inland Revenue will also, from time
1 Local Government Act, 1888, secs. 20-27. 2 See ante, p. 15.
to time, after the 31st March, 1889, pay into the Bank of England, to the Local Taxation Account, two-fifths of the proceeds of the sums collected by them in respect of probate duties. The sums so paid (called the “ Probate Duty Grant ") will be distributed among the several counties in England and Wales in proportion to the share which the Local Government Board certify to have been received by each county during the financial year ending the 31st March, 1888, from the grants formerly made out of the Exchequer in aid of local rates, which are to be discontinued. To the share of each of the six counties in South Wales, and of the Isle of Wight, must be added such additional sum as the Local Government Board certify to be the amount that each of these counties and the Isle of Wight would have received out of the grants in aid, if the roads maintained by the County Roads Boards or the Highway Commissioners had been main roads. The Probate Duty Grant, which is estimated to amount in all to about £1,800,000, will be divided in each county between the County Council and the Town Councils of the county boroughs in the same way as the proceeds of the Local Taxation Licences.
Thus the whole sum to be distributed out of the Local Taxation Account for the year commencing on the ist April, 1889, is estimated, including the Horse and Wheel Tax, at about £5,600,000.
The distribution will be managed, and the share which each county is to receive will be estimated, by the Local Government Board, who may, if they think fit, vary their certificate; but, subject to such variation, their certificate is final. The sums received by a County Council in respect of the Local Taxation Licences and the Probate Duty Grant are to be paid to the county fund and carried to the Exchequer Contribution Account.
The sums standing to the Exchequer Contribution Account will be applied as follows :
Firstly, in payment of the costs incurred in respect of the fund or otherwise chargeable on it, which will necessarily be small.
Secondly, in payment of the sums to be paid by the County
(i.) Towards the remuneration of Teachers in poor
Distribution of Exchequer Contribution Account.
(ii.) Towards the fees of Registrars of births and
deaths. (iii.) Towards the maintenance of pauper lunatics in
asylums. (iv.) The fees of children sent from the workhouse to a
public elementary school.1 To Town Councils
(i.) Towards the maintenance of lunatics chargeable
to their borough. (ii.) Towards the maintenance of borough police. To Sanitary Authorities
In respect of the salaries of Medical Officers of Health
and Inspectors of Nuisances. To Public Vaccinators
The awards paid under Section 5 of the Vaccination
Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 84).
Towards the maintenance of county police.
tion to Clerks of the Peace, for loss of fees, under 18 & 19 Vict. c. 126, is chargeable
The cost of such compensation. To the Account of the County Council to which lunatics
whose settlement cannot be ascertained are charge-
Towards their maintenance.
Towards the maintenance of the police.2 The sum paid during the financial year ending in March, 1888, in respect of the Exchequer grants in aid, which are to be discontinued (exclusive of the grant in aid of main roads) was £2,325,311.
Thirdly, the Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied by every County Council other than the London County Council in paying to the Board of Guardians of every union in the administrative county, a sum for the costs of the officers of the union, and of district schools to which the union contributes. The sum must be the sum certified by the Local Government Board, to have been expended by the Board of Guardians, during the financial year ending
1 This is new, no such grant having been made by the Treasury.
2 This grant is only payable by the County Council of a county wholly or partly comprised within the Metropolitan Police District. The grant will practically be deducted from the sum paid to the County Council, and paid direct to the Receiver.
the 25th March, 1888, on the salaries, remuneration and superannuation allowances of such officers (other than Teachers. in poor law schools) and on drugs and medical appliances.
If a union is not situated wholly in one administrative county, this payment must be borne by the County Council of every administrative county and the Town Council of every county borough in which any portion of the union is situated, in proportion to the rateable value of that portion, ascertained on such day as the Local Government Board may fix.
In the administrative county of London the County Council instead of making the grant made by other County Councils towards the costs of officers, will pay to the Guardians of every union wholly within their county such sums as the Local Government Board may certify to be due from the County Council in substitution for the Exchequer grants formerly made in aid of the remuneration of Poor Law Medical Officers and the costs of drugs and medical appliances and also a sum equal to fourpence a head per day for every indoor pauper * maintained in that union, calculated in the manner laid down in the Local Government Act, 1888.
If a union is partly situated within the administrative county of London and partly not, the grant to the Guardians. is to be the same as if the union were wholly outside the administrative county of London, and must be borne by the County Council of London and the County Council of any other county, and the Town Council of any county borough, within which any portion of the union is situated, in proportion to the rateable value of that portion.
It is estimated that the total amount that will be required for these payments to the Board of Guardians, including those made by the County Council of London, will be about £1,200,000.
Fourthly, the Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied in repaying to the General County Account of the county fund, the costs on account of general county purposes, for which the whole of the county is liable to be assessed to. county contributions
The principal general county purpose is the maintenance of main roads, the cost of which throughout the country, including the turnpike roads in South Wales, is upwards of £1,000,000, annually.
The Exchequer Contribution Account must be applied to these four purposes in the above order.
1 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 43.