Goodbye free-flowing grants; hello ring-fences and inspection regimes

By Abdool Kara | 31 October 2017
  • Abdool Kara

There has been much talk of the ending of austerity in the forthcoming Budget. In my view this is unlikely, though councils may see the removal of some existing restrictions (such as the pay freeze) but without the funding to go with it. Such flexibility is not worth the paper it is written upon without the money to give it effect, beyond providing positive sound bites for media headlines.

To the extent that there is any budget largesse, local government is unlikely to be a significant recipient. And if it is, then expect the approach taken to the adult social care grant and delayed transfers of care debate to loom large. In other words, the days of new funding flowing freely through core grant are over (even without a move to 100% business rates retention), and the days of ring-fenced grants and related inspection regimes are here.

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