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My Lords, the Chancellor announced a big package of new powers and also new responsibilities for local councils. He also said that by the end of this Parliament local government would be spending the same in cash terms as it does today, so it will not be spending the same in real terms. First, will the Minister confirm that there will be no cost shunting from central to local government without the necessary funding following it? Secondly, can he confirm that over the next few years of this Parliament any new demands made of local government by central government will be properly funded?