Mr Malcolm Moss (Shadow Minister, Home Affairs; North East Cambridgeshire, Conservative)
I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. I tried to make that point earlier in my speech and concurred with the hon. Member for Nottingham, South that that was what the Government were attempting to do. They needed scapegoats and decided that they had to give the impression of being tough by bearing down on councils in which council tax was increasing above a certain level. However, they are being dishonest because council taxes throughout the country have been going up by double the rate of inflation or more over the past six or seven years. Everyone's council tax has gone up because the Government have depressed the level of grant as a proportion of what they expect councils to do.