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I beg to move,
That the draft Council Tax Limitation (England) (Maximum Amounts) Order 1995, which was laid before this House on 12th June, be approved.
It is the duty of any Government to balance genuine requirements for local services against the wider considerations of the level of public expenditure and taxation and the state of the economy as a whole. I recognise that this year's settlement is tight and that some authorities would have wished to have been able to spend more. That is perfectly understandable, but local authorities have to continue to take a rigorous approach to pay and efficiency and to make a realistic assessment of their spending priorities.
In the event, the great majority of authorities did set budgets that were within their cap. Only 10 did not. Those were South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority; Barnsley, Newcastle and Sheffield metropolitan districts; the shire counties of Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Somerset; Norwich city council; and Lincolnshire police authority.