The LGA’s five key messages in response to the 2014 budget are as follows:
- The national housing shortage and lack of jobs for young people are two of the most pressing issues facing the country today. The Chancellor is right to treat these issues in this year’s Budget and extra support announced for home buyers and small builders along with additional funding for apprenticeships are positive steps.
- More urgency is needed however if the Government is going to fully unlock the potential of councils to support the building of affordable housing, deliver economic growth and tackle youth unemployment. This means further lifting the Housing Borrowing Cap, providing comprehensive funding for repairing potholes and devolving tax and spending powers to English local authorities, in the same way that these powers are being given to Wales and Scotland.
- While this Budget has not brought further cuts to local government, it does not change the fact that the next two years will be the toughest yet for people who use and rely upon the services which councils provide. Amongst other issues, more funding is needed to improve our transport network and to remove any uncertainty around the support for the much needed reforms to the adult social care system.
- By next year, central government funding for councils will have been cut by 40 per cent during this parliament. As the economy improves people will increasingly start to question why councils are having to reduce and withdraw from providing the services that underpin people’s daily lives.
- If we are to avoid an upturn in the economy coinciding with a decline in public services, we need nothing less than a fundamental reform of the way the public sector works and an honest reappraisal of how public services are provided and paid for in post-austerity Britain.
ALDC members can download the following items relating to the 2014 budget (log in before clicking):
Finally, this story from Lib Dem Voice on social housing has some great facts and figures on the issue.
If you would like to gain access to the above resources, and the full range of ALDC materials and support services, you can find out more about joining ALDC by clicking here.