'Positive' finance settlement for England

The provisional local government finance settlement will see councils across England receive a share of £49.1 billion in government funding for 2020/21, including an extra £1 billion for social care.

LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “We are pleased the Government listened to our call for the publication of this settlement before Christmas, which gives councils much of the certainty they need about how local services will be funded next year.

“It indicates that core spending on vital local services has the potential to increase by £2.9 billion next year, which is good news for councils and shows that the Government has responded to the financial pressures local authorities face in meeting rising costs and demand for services, such as adult and children’s social care and homelessness support.

“The further addition of £780 million to the high needs block of dedicated schools grant to fund the rising costs of meeting special educational needs brings the total of potential additional resources to more than £3.5 billion, as announced in last year’s Spending Round.

“This includes £1 billion government funding for social care, which will help ensure councils can continue to help older and disabled people live more independently and support our most vulnerable young people.”

“Core spending on vital local services has the potential to increase by £2.9 billion next year

Councils will be able to increase council tax and levy an adult social care precept next year, giving them the potential to raise £1.6 billion. But this is not a sustainable solution to the social care crisis, Cllr Jamieson warned. “Increasing council tax raises different amounts of money in different parts of the country, unrelated to need, and adds an extra financial burden on households.

“The Government needs to follow through on its pledge to bring forward proposals for long-term reform of adult social care and how it is funded.”

Read the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2020/21: on-the-day briefing written by the local government association.

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