LGiU response to Local Government Finance Settlement
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU said:
“Today’s statement contained some short term measures that will be welcome to local government. It was good to finally get some clarity on the roadmap towards 100% business rate retention.
However, in many ways, this settlement illustrates exactly what is wrong with our over centralised political system as the Secretary of State shuffled funding from one silo to another. Council tax rises cannot be the answer to the crisis in adult social care funding as many of the councils with the most pressing care needs have the lowest council tax base.
In the end, this problem cannot be addressed while we continue to treat health and social care as separate systems and to protect the NHS at the expense of social care. After a decade of public debate all we have is a sticking plaster of increased council tax and no long term solution for the greatest public policy question of our age.
Governments continue to protect the NHS without vital reform whilst demanding more and more from councils to reduce the national deficit. Using local authorities as the whipping boy of the Treasury will only go so far. Radical reform is long overdue and the Treasury should have the NHS in its sights in order to answer this crucial question.”
Notes to editors
The LGiU and MJ conducted the survey from 14 January – 4 February 2016 and received 156 responses. The LGiU and MJ have jointly conducted the state of local government finance survey since 2012. The 2017 survey results will be released in mid February 2017.
– 88% say they are likely or very likely to take advantage of the 2% social care precept offered by the Government (Counties and Unitary Authorities only)
– 75% say the 2% social care precept will not relieve budget constraints in this department
– 43% of councils say adult social care is their greatest immediate pressure
– 54% of councils say adult social care is their greatest long term pressure
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank and membership body with over 200 councils and other organisations subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visitlgiu.org.