The Minister says it went up, but actually it confirmed what many of us feared, because under this Government there will never be an end to the pain of austerity. Nothing has changed. Let’s bust this myth. This year’s funding package, while it offered an increase in spending power next year for local government, came with a £1.3 billion extra cut from central Government funding to the revenue support grant. An uplift in spending power has been paid for by local people through increased council tax. That is not fiscal devolution; it is another attempt by this Government to shift the burden on to local taxpayers and to devolve the blame for these decisions to councillors of all political persuasions, including Conservative councillors.
Areas such as the one I represent cannot bring in anything like the resources they need to meet the growing demand for social care and our neighbourhood services through local council tax increases alone. This has left areas with the greatest need unable to mitigate the cuts imposed by the Government and residents paying more in council tax for services to be stripped back even further.