I most definitely have not refused an invitation to go to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee to discuss those issues. If that committee wishes to question me about them, I will of course attend. I have not had that request, but I will certainly attend if a request comes.
On Mr Pentland’s substantive point about local government and the reductions in public expenditure, I must return to a point that I have made about three or four times now. Since 2007-08, the resources that are available to the Scottish Government have increased by 6.4 per cent, but the resources that are available to local government have increased by 8.9 per cent. I do not know how one can look at those two figures and say that local government is bearing the lion’s share of the cuts in public spending. I point out to Mr Pentland that, between this year and next, on a like-for-like basis, we are actually allocating more resources to local government, albeit for specific purposes that we have agreed with local government in relation to council tax benefit, free personal care and other matters that are included in the settlement that I have announced today.