Local Government Finances
Opposition Day — [1st allotted day]
Bob Neill (- Shadow Minister (Local Government and Planning) (Also Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party), Communities and Local Government; Bromley and Chislehurst, Conservative)
I am sorry, but I have done my best. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will get the chance to speak in the debate in due course.
The document is unsatisfactory. It reflects an unsatisfactory settlement; it reflects, therefore, a Government who lack the will to tackle the serious issues of local government finance; and, above all, it reflects a Government who do not recognise the burden that that unsatisfactory arrangement places upon ordinary families and ordinary council tax payers. I do not know which is the greater indictment: the inability to recognise the harm that is being done, or the lack of will to do something about it. If we put it together, we find, as I would have said in my previous life, that the Government are bang to rights on all counts.