Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that government departments must find up to a further 40 per cent of savings by 2020, Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said:
“Councils have already made £20 billion in savings since 2010 following reductions in government funding of 40 per cent and have worked hard to shield residents from the impact.
“A 25 per cent real terms reduction to the local government finance settlement would mean a decrease of £4 billion by 2020 while a 40 per cent reduction would mean this rises to £7 billion.
“Adult social care in particular is still facing a funding gap that is growing by at least £700 million a year and we know this is going to get worse. Any money earmarked for the delayed care cap reforms must be put back into adult social care services to help put it on a sustainable footing.
“For many councils, there are few efficiencies left to be made and these alone will not be enough to cope with further funding reductions. Vital services, such as caring for the elderly, protecting children, collecting bins and filling potholes, will struggle to continue at current levels.
“If our public services are to survive the next few years, we urgently need a radical shift in how public money is raised and spent, combined with proper devolution of decision-making over transport, housing, skills and social care to local areas.
“Fairer funding for local services, and the freedom to pay for them, will allow councils to tackle the big issues facing their residents and protect services which bind our communities together and protect our most vulnerable.”