The overall distribution of the revenue support grant raises a much wider issue. For years under successive Governments it has become a party political issue because there are allegations that one section of the population is being favoured over another. All Governments firmly, vigorously and, in the case of my Government, correctly, deny that that is the case.
EPCS are important, but local authority waste management has also benefited substantially from the private finance initiative. Two hundred and twenty million pounds of private finance initiative credits was provided for in spending review 2000 for waste projects. That was increased to £355 million in spending review 2002; that is a 60 per cent. increase for the present review period. It is a substantial uplift in the provision of funding for major infrastructure projects.
Mr. Sayeed rose—