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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 Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 6:59 pm, 1st February 1995

No, I am not giving way again.

Many people fail to understand that marginal increases fail to take into account the increased number of pupils.

Right across England, local education authorities are expected to do more and more, with less and less. As one head teacher put it recently: We are running a medium sized business on peanuts and goodwill". As all right hon. and hon. Members know, standard spending assessment cuts will be compounded by the results of the teachers' pay award. Unless the Government fund that centrally, even less cash will be available for use in the classroom.

The Prime Minister told us that education was one of his Government's top priorities. Today, the Secretary of State for the Environment told us that education was at the heart of the needs of the nation. The settlement, however, shows that neither the Secretary of State nor the Prime Minister are putting our money as taxpayers where their mouths are. They would rather put their party before this country's future. Instead of investing in education, they want to cut money from it, giving themselves room for tax cut bribes before the next election. But they have been rumbled.