Speaking on the local government settlement CIPFA CEO, Rob Whiteman said:
“This provisional local government settlement is an unfortunate demonstration of how urgently we need an independent commission into local government funding.
“The opaque nature of figures and their presentation in the settlement demonstrates just how desperately we need to take the see-saw of party politics out of the allocation of funding and instead base it upon need.
“When Government ministers compare such different councils as affluent Windsor and metropolitan Newcastle in an attempt to justify the “fairness” of the settlement it only serves to highlight how out of touch this process has become.”
On the Government's expectation that councils will continue to freeze council tax Rob Whiteman added:
“The continuation of the council tax freeze is hollowing out the local tax base and every year it continues it erodes the long term financial sustainability of local government, increasing its already disproportionate dependence upon the central government grant.
“The government must stop the erosion of the local tax base in this way and end the council tax freeze.”
Notes to editors:
Council tax freeze
CIPFA figures show that the council tax freeze grant has meant that the income generated from council tax will be more than £2.2bn lower in 2013-14 than if it had been allowed to increase over the last three years at the average rate over the five years before this government came to power.
With the freeze grant continuing into 2014-15 that figure will have grown to £3.2bn lost to local authorities or a 13% cut in the value of council tax income before adjusting for inflation.