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What was worrying was a lack of a long-term planning for the future of local government funding. Short term we know about the changes in business rates and the projections of council tax revenue, however, there is still nothing really about addressing the disconnect between the funding envelope and the increase in demand for council services. Demographics and forecasting by the IFS suggest that there is very little to indicate that the economy will improve rapidly over the short term. It is increasingly important to consider a longer term approach to funding public services, one where we recognise that the current system of taxation, income generation and service cuts will not be sufficient to pay for services needed in the future.
This longer term question was not addressed by the committee, but it was raised and we look forward to seeing what Mr Sunak has to say about this in the coming months.