Local Government and Social Care Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 1:40 pm, 24th April 2019

The right hon. Gentleman has made the case for me. Let me dumb it down for him—I do not wish to appear condescending, but it really is as simple as this: there has always been a recognition by Governments of all colours that not every area has the same baseline. Some areas have greater need and often those areas have less of an ability to raise income locally. Because of that, there has been a mechanism, or a formula—for example, whether that was the rate support grant that became the revenue support grant—to ensure that resources from the centre followed need. What we have seen under his Government is a 60% cut to the revenue support grant. Sixty pence in every £1 for the two councils in my constituency, Stockport and Tameside, is a lot of money. A 60% cut to a very small revenue support grant is different—a number of Conservative Members’ councils have only small revenue support grants, or no revenue support grants in some cases. Sixty per cent. of nothing is nothing and that is the unfairness. A 60% cut to my area cannot be filled in by council tax rises, so it means rises in council tax for poorer services. Cuts are cuts—it is as simple as that.