I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and add:
"regrets the doubling of council tax under the last government, its cuts to services such as rubbish collections and its legacy of public debt;
expresses concern that the prospect of paying for £70 billion a year in debt interest represents a total of more than is currently raised from council tax, business rates, stamp duty and inheritance tax combined;
welcomes the new Government's immediate support for frontline services by protecting £29 billion of formula grant, removing £1.2 billion of ring-fencing and abolishing red tape such as the Comprehensive Area Assessment;
backs the support for hard-working families and pensioners through a council tax freeze and the abolition of the previous government's plans for new bin taxes;
further welcomes the scrapping of the unfair ports tax which threatened to harm Britain's whole manufacturing sector;
supports the reductions in business rates for small firms;
acknowledges the significant efficiency savings already delivered by local government but believes that there is further scope for savings through joint working, professional procurement practices and radical town hall transparency;
and asserts the importance of delivering local economic growth to all local communities across the country, assisted by new financial incentives, and of giving new freedoms to councils to allow them to focus their help on local priorities and those most in need.".
I was a bit surprised to hear Mr Denham attack the Secretary of State, who had taken the trouble to write him a personal note-it was delivered by hand to his office at 11.30 this morning-explaining that he was attending a regional Cabinet meeting in Yorkshire to talk about the announcement that was first made in the Budget statement last week of a £1 billion fund to help the very areas of the country that the right hon. Gentleman has just complained will lose funding.
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