The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point. Of course, a lot of the increase is protected for the uplift, which has itself brought challenges, as has already been mentioned. That means that, yes, there is less money for capital spend—he makes a good point. I know that a lot of forces are looking at this and at their property portfolio because the Conservative Government have closed something like 670 police stations across the country. Now, we are looking at whether it is enough and what we can do to fill that gap.
The areas that have fewer band D properties, and that can therefore raise less money locally, are the communities that have the most victims of crime and are most likely to suffer from antisocial behaviour, theft and burglaries. They are the communities that will get the least under this Government’s unequal distribution. Levelling up? Don’t make me laugh.
The Minister lauds his increase in funding, when two thirds of it is increasing local taxes. To add to his convoluted hypocrisy—[Interruption.] Forgive me; I retract that word. To add to his convoluted argument, he said in his statement:
“Local taxation should not be in the place of sound financial management, and therefore I expect PCCs to exhaust all other options to reprioritise their budgets…before looking to local taxpayers for additional funding.”—[Official Report,
So the headline is that this increased funding assumes that everybody will increase tax by 15%, but the detail tells those local areas that they should not do that because it is against the Government’s agenda.