Heather Jameson 16 May 2017

Labour pledges to increase local government funding

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to increase funding to local authorities and review local government finance if elected in June.

Launching Labour's manifesto, Mr Corbyn promised he would review ‘reforming council tax and business rates, and consider new options such as land value tax, to ensure local government has sustainable funding for the long term’.

Calling itself the ‘party of devolution’, Labour has said it will hand back power to communities and devolve economic development powers ‘complete with the necessary funding’.

In a move to address the growing imbalance of devolution, Corbyn’s party plans to create a new role of ‘minister for England’, sitting under the secretary of state for communities and local government, and to bring back the government’s regional offices to ‘increase contact between central and local government’.

It adds: ‘Labour will be guided by public opinion when determining whether to include directly elected mayors in future devolution deals.’

However, the manifesto – which was leaked in draft form last week – also pledges centralisation of social care, with plans for a National Care Service.

It states: ‘The National Care Service will be built alongside the NHS, with a shared requirement for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint working arrangements.

‘We will build capacity to move quickly towards a joined-up service that will signpost users to all the appropriate services at the gateway through which they arrive.’

The Party has pledged to address the lack of funding for social care, with an extra £8bn funding over the parliament with £1bn in the first year.

Labour has also pledged to protect libraries, bolster planning rules and give people more say over their town centres, end to 15-minute care visits and invest in infrastructure, including HS2.

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