Local Government Financing

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 29th June 2010.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing 4:27 pm, 29th June 2010

I welcome the hon. Lady's intervention. She was not here in the last Parliament, but had she been she might have read our Green Paper, which describes in detail our plans for the RDAs. Labour Members seem to think that when there is a change of Government, policies should just roll on even if they have not worked. The RDAs were a case in point of policies that cost a lot of money and got us nowhere.

The prospect of paying £70 billion in debt interest is of deep concern, but apparently not on the Opposition Benches, where it is as if the money has not run out, the party is not over and we can just carry on spending imaginary funds. That £70 billion in debt repayments is more money than the council tax, business rates, stamp duty and the inheritance tax collect put together. That is the size of the deficit we are up against. So we need to tighten our belts. Ministers are cutting their pay, and it is also fair to ask local authorities to pay their part towards the £6.2 billion public sector savings required this year.

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