Mark Conrad 09 October 2018

Finance settlement has 'gravest implications'

Councils have dismissed today’s Welsh Government’s finance settlement as a ‘bread and butter budget’ in which town halls ‘get the crumbs again’.

Wales’ cabinet secretary for local government, Alun Davies, revealed local authorities would receive £4.2bn in core revenue funding and non-domestic rates in 2019/20.

Mr Davies said the deal included £2.5m of floor funding to ensure that no authority would have to manage a reduction of more than 1% next year.

He added the cash put aside for councils contained a further £20m to help ease pressures on social services and extra money to cover new teachers’ pay costs.

But the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said the settlement fell far short of what councils needed to cover key education spending and had the ‘gravest implications for public services’.

Councils immediately issued a fresh warning to the Welsh Government of the ‘severe consequences for school budgets due to the failure of this outcome to meet a massive range of wage, pension and demographic pressures’.

WLGA finance spokesman, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: ‘I know my colleagues in Welsh Government had tough decisions to make thanks to austerity, but I fear that the wrong decisions have been taken in this budget.’

Cllr Hunt claimed the Welsh Government had failed to cover the cost of preventative services and warned the country needed to take swift measures to avoid a ‘deepening crisis’.

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