On Merseyside, we have seen a cut of more than 1,000 police officers since 2010, which is a 24% decrease. Despite the very best efforts of our police, they simply cannot provide the same level of service. Levels of certain crimes are going up and our police are under incredible pressure, as we have seen in the increase in the number of 999 calls.
I listened closely to the Minister. Will he categorically confirm that, of the £161 million increase in grants to the police, almost all—£152 million—will be eaten up by higher pensions? That will mean that inflation and pay increase costs will have to be met by council tax payers—it is about £24 a year, which we are not guaranteed to raise. That means that Merseyside police will just stand still. How on earth is that an acceptable state of affairs?