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The hon. Gentleman does not understand how people would not think that it is a racket, but why does not the Association of County Councils think that it is a racket? It thinks that there is a reasonable level, as does the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and all of the other people and organisations which are involved in the process. The decisions are arrived at after full discussion with local authorities. The only other person who does not agree with it is the hon. Gentleman's predecessor on the Opposition Front Bench.
Furthermore, independent authorities such as Mr. Tony Travers have said that what the hon. Gentleman says is simply not true. The only people who think as the hon.
Gentleman does are those who have done so little homework that they do not understand how the system works to the benefit of the whole country.