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CIPFA has described the Draft Local Government Finance Settlement, announced yesterday, as marking another very challenging phase in the austerity programme.
Authorities now need to finalise their 2013/14 budgets within the constraints of available resources. It is critically important that they do that prudently and in a way that seeks to maintain both the financial health of the organisation and essential services.
Given the complex system changes arising from the new arrangements for local retention of business rates and localisation of council tax benefit, it will be important to monitor both spending and revenues with extra vigilance throughout the year, and to be ready to make any necessary in-year adjustments.
Steve Freer, CIPFA's Chief Executive, said: "It is important to see these figures in the broader context of the year on year funding reductions which local government has been asked to manage.
“In overall terms, councils' performance in managing with reducing resources since the 2010 General Election has been remarkably positive. But this is another risk-laden step in the process. In 2013/14 councils must manage a further round of core funding cuts and a range of complex financial system changes affecting both business rates and council tax benefit."
Contact: CIPFA Press Office
t 020 7543 5600
Notes to Editors:
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services.