England & Wales, Scotland Press Releases

LGIU response: What the Autumn Statement means for local government

LGIU response: What the Autumn Statement means for local government

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGIU said:

“Today’s budget offered limited respite for hard-pressed councils. In a week when two of England’s largest local authorities have said they are facing a financial cliff edge – the message from the sector is clear. Well run councils will fail unless something changes.

“Additional money for social care would be welcome, but the vast majority of what was announced today is derived from delaying the Dilnot proposals and from increasing council tax flexibility. Both these measures simply kick the problem down the road. We’ve been doing that with social care for over a decade now and a regressive tax will hit the poorest the hardest and shift political liability from central to local government.

“This budget made it very clear that levelling up is well and truly back. But, the devolution deals announced today offer no promise of the necessary fiscal devolution. The commitment to explore single departmental-style settlements for the Greater Manchester and West Midlands Combined Authorities might take us in that direction, but that too is kicked down the road until the next Spending Review.

“Councils across the country are struggling to make ends meet today. The choice for the Government is whether it intervenes before or after local authorities go bust. This budget gives little cause for optimism.”