Laura Sharman 24 June 2020

Eight in ten councils can't meet Covid-19 costs, report warns

More than eight out of ten upper tier councils in England do not have enough money to cover the extra costs and reduced income caused by coronavirus, a report has warned today.

The Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) has found that despite emergency funding, 131 upper tier councils do not have sufficient unallocated reserves to make up the shortfall.

It also reveals that deprived local authorities will be hit hardest as the ability to raise additional funds through council tax and business rates will be limited.

The CPP warns that the Government must fully compensate councils for the pandemic before it turns back to its ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Joanne Pitt, local government policy manager at CIPFA, said: ‘This report is further proof that councils require a greater level of financial support to meet the cost pressures of the pandemic and deliver on the government’s levelling up agenda.

’Funding and distribution formulas will need to be viewed through a post-Covid lens in order to avoid further entrenching fiscal inequalities that existed before Covid-19.’

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