The report by the New Economics Foundation and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has highlighted real and necessary concerns about funding for local services in the coming years, with a no deal Brexit and reforms meaning that funding for Local Government will reach a critical point, even surpassing the cuts from Austerity we have faced in recent years.
The report by the NEF highlights that around half of local-government funding came from central government in 2010, but by 2024-25 this will have been cut to zero, apart from a small amount of ring-fenced funding.
The funding gap is real and will need to be plugged, with these current plans it will be normal everyday people and business paying for this gap. Whether through Business rates or Council Tax. Our constituents will pay for the Governments cuts and it will push already struggling people and families further into poverty.
The threat of a no deal Brexit makes this scenario even more likely, with Business rates expected to be increased to help cover the shortfall. We must act in the national interest and that of our constituents to ensure this does not happen.
The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Any government that cared about local services would rule out a no-deal Brexit.
“These funding reforms leave councils far more vulnerable to the economic damage that would be caused by crashing out of the EU without a deal, and that will mean bigger funding gaps for services that families rely on like social care, youth services and children’s centres.”
A 25bn further shortfall in funds for Local Government could have disastrous effects on our services and local people. The funding crisis must be addressed by the Government and now.
We must act now to stop this before our services are crippled beyond repair.