Council spend falls below pre-recession levels, figures show
Local authority spending per head has plummeted to pre-2008 recession levels, official figures have revealed.
From a peak of £2,052 perperson just two years ago, expenditure has been slashed by the equivalent of £238 per person to £1,814 in 2012/13 – lower even than that allocated in 2007/08.
According to data from the Department for Communities and Local Government and public spending experts CIPFA, total service expenditure by local authorities is set to fall by 4.8% this year to £94.7bn.
This comes on top of a 5.7% spending reduction the previous year, which brought authority spending to £99.5bn.
Analysis of the statistics suggests education will take the single biggest hit in cash terms – from £43bn to £39bn.
The 8.6% spending reduction follows the reallocation of cash from the academies programme – as a result of which some 1,952 English schools are funded directly by Whitehall.
Social care expenditure is due to increase marginally by 0.2%, the only service area experiencing year-on-year increases, but spending per head will drop from £409 last year to £407 per head this year.
On a regional basis, local authorities in the East Midlands (-7.5%) South West (-7.1%) and East of England (-7%) are, on average, bearing the brunt of spending reductions. Councils in Yorkshire and Humberside (-2.9%) and Greater London (-3.3%) are currently making the smallest cutbacks.
Alison Scott, CIPFA’s local government policy lead, said the statistics illustrated the changing nature of local council services as a result of spending cuts coupled with changes in how services are provided.
‘As cuts and service transformation continue to bite the balance of council services will continue to change,’ said Ms Scott.
Oh yeah, so why has the Council Tax not dropped as much .. It doubled under Labour, so has a long way to go down . . It probably never will, as the Council has a one way valve connected to your pocket. It can only go up . .never down Get on with efficiencies. So much to go at, so little done. .J Smith, Added: Wednesday, 18 July 2012 02:28 PM
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