Budget fails to help councils deal with austerity

The Chancellor’s Budget Statement has completely ignored the desperate need to help councils deal with the impact of a decade of austerity, Council Leader Tudor Evans says.

There’s no immediate help for councils such as Plymouth that are urgently trying to plug funding gaps this financial year caused by cuts in Government funding while demand for adult social care and children’s services rises.

Councillor Evans said: “This was a budget of smoke and mirrors with the aim of giving the impression cash is being splashed at local services. That’s simply not the case. The limited amount of money announced for adult social care is for next year and will spread extremely thinly across the country.

“The reality is that the money announced for social care will not only need to be spread across hundreds of councils, it will then need to be split between children and adult services – both of which are extremely hard pressed. More children are being taken into care across the country, our population is getting older and more frail elderly people need care.

“So this falls very far short of what we actually need. It’s inadequate and temporary and to claim anything else is insulting to the people who have to deal with the impact of Government cuts in their communities every day.

“It is critical that the Chancellor takes the opportunity to undo all the harm done to local government in the upcoming Spending Review.”