William Eichler 03 December 2019

Party commitments on council funding ‘starkly’ different, think tank says

Party commitments on council funding ‘starkly’ different, think tank says image

The money allocated to local government in the Conservative manifesto would not be enough to meet rising costs and demands over the next parliament, think tank says.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies have analysed what the manifestos of the main political parties – Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats – mean for local authority funding.

They concluded that Tory funding commitments would not cover the increasing costs and demands expected at the local level, even if council tax were increased by 4% a year.

A study of English local government funding from the IFS last month found that budgeted revenues to cover day-to-day spending in 2019–20 will be approximately 18% lower in real-terms than in 2009–10. This equates to cuts of 24% per resident once population growth is taken into consideration.

The study also found that these cuts have varied ‘significantly’ across the country.

Councils’ spending on local services has fallen around 31% in the most deprived areas, according to the IFS, compared to 16% in the least deprived areas.

Labour has allocated ‘more than enough’ money to meet rising costs and demands, according to the IFS’ associate director and author of the analysis, David Phillips, allowing increases in service provision and quality.

However, Labour’s funding commitments would not restore local government funding to 2010 levels.

The Liberal Democrats have allocated enough money to meet rising costs and demands if council tax is increased by 2% a year. This would, however, require some of the funding earmarked for bus services, youth services or homelessness to be used to meet these pressures.

‘Taken together, the differences between what the parties propose for local government funding are stark. This reflects manifestos that more generally set out vastly different futures for the country,’ concluded Mr Phillips.

‘But all three main parties have unfunded commitments on adult social care spending – suggesting this will be an important and potentially problematic issue whoever forms the next Government.’

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth

Durham County Council
Seeking candidates who are adept at building relationships, able to work successfully with regional and national partners... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine