Of course there is not a bigger pot of money, but if we allow competition to work, it will increase the local economy, which means that more money will be gathered in through council tax and the area will have the ability to pay more for the public sector that it needs.
The problem with what we are doing at the moment is that it impoverishes the poor. It keeps the poorest areas of the country poor for as long as possible. I know that Opposition Members and some of my hon. Friends are in favour of the current situation not because they want to keep the poorest areas poor, but for the most noble and romantic of motives. However, their noble approach to this issue is fundamentally wrong. They think that it is fair to ensure that everybody is paid the same, but if by doing that we destroy employment in certain areas and make more people dependent on the state, we are not acting in the broader interests of society.