Eric Pickles, the Conservatives local government spokesman, told a debate on the review of the standard spending assessment he wanted to congratulate the ministers. They had, he said, 'taken a complex formula, added their own magic and made it even more complex'.
'The once impenetrable labyrinth of local government grant is now firmly shrouded in a mist.'
Opening the debate, local government minister Nick Raynsford insisted no council would face funding cuts next year under the new system. He argued there was no agenda to shift resources from one part of the country to another.