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Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:59 pm on 1st February 1995.

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Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment 6:59 pm, 1st February 1995

I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman is making general points, but perhaps I could make a specific one. In Devon and Somerset, Liberal administrations or Liberal-supported coalitions have increased the number of employees. There have been significant increases in the amount that those administrations receive from the Government, but they have written to schools telling them that there will be staff cuts. Those matters do not hang together, and the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) is not here to defend the words that he put in letters to Conservative Members. Many of us are beginning to wonder whether the Liberals are being honest on this.