'My original proposals would have limited single service fire and civil defence authorities that are budgeting above their Standard Spending Assessment to an increase in budget compared to 1994/95 of a half per cent.
'I now propose to revise the provisional capping criteria that apply to the metropolitan fire and civil defence authorities. The effect of my intended criteria is:
- any increase in budget of more than 2% over 1994/95 would be considered excessive if it gives rise to a budget requirement above the authority's SSA
- any increase of more than 1/2% would be considered excessive if it gives rise to a budget requirement over 10% above SSA
'The capping criteria are necessarily provisional. We cannot take decisions on capping until authorities have set their budgets for 1995/96,' said Mr Curry.