The mayor of Liverpool has called for a Royal Commission to ensure a ‘fair funding formula’ for local council services.
Mayor Joe Anderson urged the chancellor ahead of the Budget to bring ‘a clear end to austerity’ and to provide ‘clarity’ on funding settlements beyond 2019/2020.
He also called for urgent confirmation around the future operation of business rates and said the chancellor should commit to a Royal Commission on financing local public services.
‘I’m calling on the chancellor to look at establishing a Royal Commission so that can create a fair and transparent system of financing local government for the long-term, ending an approach that is currently too short-termist and opaque about how allocations are made,’ he said.
Mayor Anderson said the Government needs to ‘future-proof the system’ to take into account the rising demand for adult social care and children’s services.
He also urged Whitehall to ‘scrap’ the current model of Universal Credit which he described as ‘unfair and punitive.’
Clarity is also needed about how monies repatriated from the EU will be redistributed via the Shared Prosperity Fund, he said.
‘I’ve long campaigned for a fairer funding regime, but the cumulative effects of austerity, the botched implementation of Universal Credit and the looming threat of Brexit mean the issue is now urgent,’ said Mayor Anderson.
‘We desperately need system that focuses on need and helps us strengthen and grow our local economies so that councils are better able to generate new forms of income and become more self-reliant.’