Keep your eyes on the financial settlement

By Graeme McDonald | 12 January 2016
  • Graeme McDonald

As memories of yuletide celebrations and the unwanted intrusion of flood water begin to recede, the sobering nature of last month’s financial settlement is now firmly back in focus. Few will have been surprised by December’s continuation of cuts.

While disproportionately large when compared to those asked of other public services, the settlement will see a cut in local councils’ spending power of around 8% on average – which is significantly smaller than the level experienced over the last Parliament. The cuts are also more evenly spread, although still larger for those (nominally) poorer areas that rely more heavily on government grant, and assume local communities and business are willing and able to bear the cost.

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