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The Minister will know better than most that, although he says that local authorities have control over various spending decisions, they in fact do not, because various matters are controlled by the Government—in particular, the increases in taxes that they have put on local authorities, in the form of pensions tax and national insurance. The Government also keep putting unfunded duties on local authorities—for example, local authorities have to comply with the waste directive and face increases in the landfill levy. The Government have also reduced local authority housing grant, as my hon. Friend Daniel Kawczynski mentioned earlier. More than the entire increase that the Government have given local government in the past seven years has been taken up by increased taxes and duties.