CIPFA Statement: Provisional local government settlement fails to ease long-term funding crisis


While the increase in line with inflation and additional 3% minimum core spending power increase announced today is welcome, funding remains insufficient to meet council’s significant and growing needs.

As always, the devil is in the detail. Increasing the overall funding to local authorities hides the assumption that council tax will be raised. In addition, one-off settlements do not take into account business rates rises by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for councils nor the stagnant social care Better Care Fund, which remains the same as 2022/23. We welcome the £100m for families on low income to ease council tax increases. However, the announced £2bn for social care is not new.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:

“Although the Secretary of State acknowledges that some well-run authorities may struggle to balance their budgets in 2024, he has not used this provisional settlement to provide a much-needed lifeline. Many local authorities risk drowning in a sea of rising demand and inflationary costs.

"Following the Autumn Statement, it is disappointing that this well-worn cycle of “crisis-cash-repeat” funding remains.

“If the government is to meet demand and cover growing cost pressures on challenges that councils face, this volatile and uncertain funding approach ought to be replaced by long-term settlements for our most essential services.

“The funding settlement hides the complexity of a fundamentally flawed system. Much of this new money will be consumed by the increased national minimum wage and rising temporary accommodation costs. The settlement fails to significantly address the long-term funding crisis faced by councils.”

Notes to editor

If you have any further queries, please visit the CIPFA press office

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).