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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. [Interruption.] I have already said that I would not give way again. You, Madam Speaker, have asked me to comply with the 10-minute ruling for speeches.

The nation knows that every right hon. and hon. Member who votes for the settlement tonight—that includes the right hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King)—is voting for teachers to be sacked, for rising class sizes, for less money for books and equipment in our schools, and for less money for much-needed repair and maintenance. Worst of all, they are voting to ensure that no real possibility exists of the much-needed expansion of nursery education.

Conservative central Government have admitted that the settlement is tight for education and for all other local government services. The Secretary of State called it a "tough" settlement. It is far worse than that—it is a deplorable settlement. Anyone who cares about local government and the services it provides should vote against it tonight.