I am grateful. The Government's response to the banking crisis has included a backstop and I wonder whether the Minister and his Department should make it clear that the same backstop will be there for local authorities as well. Even if there is no underwriting of debts, the Minister should perhaps clarify that capitalisation of any debts that cannot be recovered would provide a way forward for some councils that are unable to recover their deposits. Then, at the very least, council tax payers can be assured that they will not see in-year cuts or significant increases in council tax in the future in order to pay off any losses in one go.
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