The hon. Gentleman has said that no account is taken of those factors. But they are taken into account in the rate support grant system. There is an argument about whether that goes far enough. The hon. Gentleman referred to mortgage interest rates and average earnings. The price of houses is different. That is why I said that there are various needs and problems in each area.
Probably the rates of Newcastle would be a subject for any Adjournment debate. One of the factors in Newcastle's increased rate demand is the re-financing of the housing debt under the Labour Government's system, which has now been replaced by the Housing Finance Act. Another factor is the precept of the passenger transport authority, which I have suggested Newcastle should look at again.
There are such wide variations between cities that the hon. Gentleman cannot make a general case in a censure debate by rather contentious and superficial observations about Newcastle.