The figures that the Minister talks about are cash figures. Although I have no doubt that he is quoting them accurately, it would be convenient for the Committee if the Department could at some stage say what the real-term funding is and set that against the extra burdens that have been imposed on local authorities and have those costed as well. It would be interesting to know whether local authorities are worrying their constituent members and others unduly when they complain that the Government have underfunded the burdens that they have imposed. If the Minister is convinced of the rightness of his case, I hope that the Department can produce the figures that back up the real increases, vis-à-vis the extra burdens that have been imposed on local authorities. At a time of local elections no local authority introduces a
massive hike in council taxes unless it has to; there must be a reason behind that.