While the Government normally controls time in the House of Commons, certain days are allocated to the Opposition and backbenchers (See S.O. 14). Today the Labour Opposition has a "day's" debate. This could start at 3.30pm, though any Ministerial Statements and other urgent business could, and probably will, eat into the time. The debate will finish at 10.00 (the moment of interruption), or earlier if everyone who wishes to speak has spoken.
The subject chosen is "Unfair distribution and impact of cuts to local government funding". The following motion will be put forward -
"That this House notes with concern that local councils will lose, on average, 27 per cent. of their funding over the next four years, compared to 11 per cent., on average, for Whitehall departments; regrets the frontloading of reductions in funding which means that the heaviest cuts will fall in the first year; believes that the unexpected severity of the cuts will result in substantial job losses in the public and private sector, undermine the voluntary sector and hit frontline services; regrets the inadequate level of capitalisation available to local councils to deal with redundancy costs of up to £2 billion; further notes the commitment in the coalition agreement to ensure that fairness is at the heart of decisions and that those most in need are protected; is disappointed that the most deprived areas will be hit hardest by the reductions in funding; and calls on the Government to revise its proposals before making the provisional finance settlement to ensure that any reductions in funding are more evenly spread over four years and do not fall disproportionately on the most deprived communities."
The Government will no doubt put down an amendment - replacing the criticism of the Government with congratulations. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs will ensure that the amendment passes.