The conservative party has given no additional money for authorities in 2017/18 which has led to councils reacting by saying they will cut out a range of essential services but why?
Councils may need to slash a range of essential services after ministers released a funding settlement for councils that offered no additional money during 2017/18. But while the government borrow more than 250 million pounds at a time for every child born in the country and council’s raise the council tax payment; why is the fallout left yet again for the suffering public
Gary Porter, who chairs the Local Government Association, said authorities would have to cut back on filling potholes, collecting waste, maintaining parks and running children’s centres and libraries in order to plug growing funding gaps.
He expressed “huge disappointment” about the decision not to increase funding, warning that while councils would impose tax rises, the money would not be enough to prevent services, including social care, from being hit.
“This is nonsense” said an analyst of the economic climate in Britain. “The council spend more money spying on the public than they have on maintaining parks and libraries; investing in radio towers and CCTV, while blocking roads that the public use to get to work; just for the sake of spending their budget. The money spent on government databases is astronomical; more than anything else in the country; just for maintaining the capacity to hold data that is a breach on ‘human rights'”
“Councils, the NHS, charities and care providers remain united around the desperate need for new government funding for social care,” said Lord Porter. “By continuing to ignore these warnings, social care remains in crisis and councils and the NHS continue to be pushed to the financial brink.”
The head of the body representing hundreds of councils across England and Wales was responding to the Local Government Finance Settlement, published late on Monday without any notification to the media. The governments lack of good economic and financial practice is startling given the amount of borrowing they take every year based on birth rates of the public. Is it time they produced an audit to see exactly where the public’s money is going?
He said that council tax rises were inevitable because of funding constraints and the extra revenue was being swallowed up to pay for the government’s “national living wage”. This is misleading as the government reliance to borrow £250m for just one child born is enough to pay the meager £50 per week for the whole of the country.
“Social care faces a funding gap of at least £2.6bn by 2020,” he said. “It cannot be left to council taxpayers alone to try and fix this.”
Porter urged ministers not to ignore the issue, which caused anger when it was not addressed during the autumn statement. He said he hoped next month’s budget would take “urgent steps” to help the situation.
“New government money for social care is urgently needed,” he said. “Without this, our most vulnerable continue to face an ever uncertain future where they might no longer receive the dignified care and support they deserve, such as help getting dressed or getting out and about, which is crucial to their independence and wellbeing.”
Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, set out the settlement in a written statement to parliament in which he highlighted the high cost of councils. He also said the settlement was the second in a four-year offer that had been accepted by the vast majority of councils.
Where is all the money going?
“local residents rightly continue to expect excellent public services. I commend all councils for how they are getting on with the job. Public satisfaction with local services has been maintained, and councils are engaged in substantial efforts to modernise, transform local services and reduce waste so that frontline services can be protected.”
Javid argued that part of the shift was towards “funding reforms to make councils more self-sufficient”. He said the government had listened to the “unanimous view” that social care must be priorities, and cited an extra £3.5bn funding by 2019/20.
After the governments lack of understanding on how to finance the country properly by over investment on ‘spying on the country’ it now has to come to terms with the fact that upkeep of such technologies is non productive and has left us in debt.
“Recognising the immediate challenges in the care market facing many councils next year, this settlement repurposes just £240m of money which was previously directed to local authorities via the New Homes Bonus to create a new adult social care support grant next year. It also grants councils extra flexibility to raise the adult social care precept by up to 3% next year and the year after,” he added. But he argued that “more money is not the only answer”, highlighting a push to integrate social care and health services better.
Even so; the figures just don’t stand up.