Brandon Lewis on councils and local government spending

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Councils have "a huge amount of money in the system" with £2 billion surplus assets which could be better used for taxpayers, the local government minister has said.

Brandon Lewis said they should crack down on fraud and uncollected tax and reckoned there was "still much more local councils can do".

He spoke after a Channel 4 Dispatches programme highlighted spending claims, including the millions spent on allowances and luxury cars, plus £6,000 on a World Cup trip which the minister doubted "most council tax payers would see that as reasonable".

The Conservative minister claimed some Labour authorities were putting up council tax and allowances for members, in a debate with Labour peer and former home secretary Lord Reid.

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