Local government finance hits poorer communities the hardest

Responding to the Local Government Finance Settlement, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader Howard Sykes said:

“Many councils have already been forced to take tough decisions about which services have to be scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps.  We must not forget that it is people and communities who feel the impact.  Whether it is through seeing their local library or leisure centre close, roads deteriorate or support for young people, families and vulnerable adults cut to the bone.

The nation continues to face huge uncertainty, as Westminster bickers over Brexit, and our government is a shambles and paralysed.  It is councillors who are getting on with the job of supporting people in very difficult circumstances. “

Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP added:

“This settlement does nothing to address the growing inequalities across our country. The highly regressive council tax system means that, as the Conservative Government continue to underfund local government, subsequent council tax rises hit poorer communities the hardest.

“There must be a reform of council tax to prevent the places with the highest demand for services for vulnerable people, struggling the most to fund it.

“Liberal Democrats demand better than the sticking plaster that has been presented today. The Tories are once again kicking the can down the road, instead of setting out a long-term financial package that provides security for our local services.”

Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson for the House of Lords, Baroness Pinnock added:

“The local government funding settlement that was released today is a drop in the ocean. The offer of £650 million for social care in 2019-20 falls drastically short when the funding gap is expected to reach £3.5 billion by 2025.

“Social care should not be a postcode lottery.”

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