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I have been asked to reply and, with permission, I will answer this Question and No. 65 together.
The general effect of the Government's proposals will be an overall financial gain to local government. The position of persons living on small incomes is, in other respects, beyond the scope of a Bill whose purpose is to make adjustments in the rating system and in the system of Exchequer grants to local authorities.
On a point of order. In view of the fact that I have had one Question on a similar subject transferred by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Minister of Housing and Local Government, might I ask why two Questions were not transferred, and why does not the Chancellor stand up for his own Department himself? Then, may I ask my supplementary? Is my right hon. Friend who is answering for the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware that I am not so interested in the overall gain to my part of the world, though I hope it will be substantial, but that what I am asking is whether those living on small fixed incomes, who are quite as important as those who have large incomes, are to have a protection? Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that I am unlikely to support the proposals unless some sort of satisfaction for those in whom I am interested is provided?