Dan Peters 19 April 2016

Four-year settlement unaffected by Budget, confirms Clark

The four-year financial settlement for local authorities will not be affected by cuts announced in this year's Budget, the Government has confirmed.

Communities secretary Greg Clark has reassured the sector after concerns were raised that the planned £3.5bn cuts to public services would mean financial uncertainty for councils for the next few years.

Chair of the communities and local government committee, Clive Betts, said: ‘Following the move to 100% retention of business rates by 2020 and the multi-billion efficiency savings announced by the chancellor in his Budget, I’m pleased the secretary of state has confirmed that the four-year settlements for local councils are still valid.

‘While local authorities will remain under considerable financial pressure, I welcomed the original announcement on four-year settlements and I’m pleased the secretary of state has now reaffirmed this deal.’ However, Mr Clark reiterated that he ‘cannot guarantee future levels of funding’ for councils that decline to submit an efficiency plan, thereby rejecting the four-year settlement. Full retention of business rates is expected to be implemented nationally from 2019/20.

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