Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive at CIPFA, said: "‘Tiggerish’ optimism in growth forecasts aside, the Spring Statement delivered on its promise to deliver little in terms of additional spending or tax changes. The suggestion that there might be additional resources in the autumn will not satisfy those public bodies struggling right now. And if growth continues at the current pace there will still be a growing disconnect between funding and service expectation.
"Nevertheless, commitments to boost training and apprenticeships is a welcome sign the government is planning for the future.
"Given the clear budget strains across the public sector, notably in the NHS and local government, it was disappointing not to see further support for those sectors most at need.
"The £2.8bn promised during the Autumn Statement fell short of the £4bn NHS leaders called for, and is therefore unlikely to make the financial position of the health service significantly less precarious.
"Given the scale funding pressures felt by councils, particularly around the provision of adult and children’s social care, it is crucial the government begin making plans to ensure the sustainability of the sector. Much is riding on the promised Green Paper on adult social care, which is scheduled to be published this summer.
"The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) closed its Fair Funding Consultation this week, in which CIPFA called for the government to engage in an open and honest conversation of exactly which services it expects councils to deliver, given the current level of funding they receive.
"This approach should be extended to all areas of government. It is time there was a full review of how service expectations across all public bodies fit against the funding levels they receive."