Mark Whitehead 19 October 2017

'Troubled services' costing £10bn to keep going by Government

Troubled services costing £10bn to keep going by Government image

The Government is spending billions keeping public services going but failing to deal with underlying problems, experts have warned.

The Institute for Government and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy say services such as hospitals and prisons are spending more but with no sign of improvement in key pressure points.

They say the Government has spent more than £10bn in five years just to keep 'troubled' services in operation.

The IFG and CIPFA 'Performance Tracker', based on 100 sets of data covering nine key public services, said schools and adult social care have had emergency cash injections but there was no clear plan for what will happen when the extra money runs out.

It said the Government does not have enough data to manage risks around local services such as bin collection and road maintenance and that GP numbers are not rising despite the Government’s intentions.

The two organisations conclude that the Government has 'no choice but to spend more', adding that for schools and adult social care it must make 'tough and increasingly urgent policy decisions.'

Responding to the findings Cllr Claire Kober, chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said: 'We have long warned that inadequate funding for local government has a knock-on effect on other parts of the public sector, which are often left to pick up the pieces of councils being forced to scale back services.

'As this report makes clear, one example of this false economy is money being pumped into the NHS while councils receive less social care and public health funding.'

She said the Autumn Budget should recognise that councils 'cannot continue to provide vital day-to-day services without sufficient and sustainable resources.'

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