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Local Government Finance Bill (Allocation of Time)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:10 pm on 26th January 1987.

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Photo of Mr Michael Meadowcroft Mr Michael Meadowcroft , Leeds West 5:10 pm, 26th January 1987

It is sad that the Leader of the House came before us today with this motion when we have a certain regard for protection of the rights of the House. It is not insignificant that he appeared to have little heart for what he was saying and, sadly, that he has left the Chamber so soon. It is a shame that he did not come forward with the motion in any spirit of humility by saying, "Here is something that has been caused by the Government and by errors in the past. It has been brought upon us by matters that we have found to he wrong, that we are seeking to put right." Instead of doing that, he tried to brazen it out. What is worse, he used the age old threat that we have heard throughout the proceedings on the Bill that unless it goes through quickly it will hold up the rate support grant settlement.

As I have said before, I do not believe that it is beyond the wit of those who wish to deal with rate support grant to find some way of making that possible in the interim with the active support of Opposition Members. It compounds the felony to use the problem about rate support grant settlement as a reason for guillotining the Bill. It flies in the face of the fact that, had the Bill been solely to validate the financial problems, it would have been through by now.