Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East, Labour)
Yesterday we heard about the supposedly extra money that councils will get to meet the care needs of the elderly and disabled. How much is that sum of money compared with the total overall cuts faced by local government? I am concerned that what is being given with one hand is being taken away with the other.
Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)
That is an outrageous suggestion. For years upon years I stood at the Opposition Dispatch Box demanding that the money be released from the health authority to local authorities to deal with this. We have done that; the hon. Lady should be saying thank you.