"So much of the extra potential increase in council funding depends on councils hiking up Council Tax by 5 per cent. It is an unfair tax, not related to the ability to pay."
Commenting on the Finance Settlement, Councillor Howard Sykes, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader, said: "So much of the extra potential increase in council funding depends on councils hiking up Council Tax by 5 per cent. It is an unfair tax, not related to the ability to pay."
"As the LGA rightly point out, it also remains a sticking plaster and not a long-term solution. What is needed is a long term solution for local government finance, including reviewing how business rates operate. "
A closer examination of the details also show:
- fewer than 40 councils appear to have had an increase in their government funding of 1.5 per cent or more.
- 40 per cent of councils have actually had their government funding cut next year in cash terms.
- there is a lack of clarity over the Public Health grant.
Councillor Sykes added: “Of course any additional money confirmed today is to be welcomed, but it still leaves key services like adult social care starved of funds. Extra government funding for adult and children’s services will only be £60 million with £240 million being expected to be made up by the council tax payer. A recent House of Commons report made clear social care needs an increase in annual funding of £3.9 billion by 2023-24 just to stand still.
Both the LGA and the Liberal Democrats have rightly called for a cross-party agreement on how social care is funded and we do want to see action on this crucial issue”.