I am sorry that the Minister has stooped to that level of political dogfighting, particularly as he has given an incorrect figure. He referred to an increase in members' allowance of 600 per cent. The press forgot to take into account, and the Minister has also clearly failed to take into account, the fact that that ignores the removal of the previous allowances that councillors were paid. The figure is therefore simply incorrect.
I do not wish to lose sight of the real problem. The figures to which the Minister referred amount to less than 0.001 per cent. of the council's overall budget and of the £17 million cut in the real budget. I want the Minister to deal with that problem rather than make cheap political jibes.