To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Spending Review 2020, what his policy is on (a) funding for local councils, (b) grants and (c) council tax principles for the 2021-22 financial year prior to the 2021-22 Local Government Funding settlement in December 2020.
Spending Review 2020 confirmed that Core Spending Power is forecast to rise by 4.5 per cent in cash terms- a real terms increase. This package means local authorities will be able to access an estimated additional £2.2 billion to support Adult and Children’s Social Care and to maintain universal services.
Within their Core Spending Power, councils will have access to an additional £1 billion for social care next year, made up of a £300 million increase to the social care grant and 3 per cent Adult Social Care precept. The additional £1 billion of grant funding announced at SR19 for Adult and Children’s Social Care will be continuing, along with all other existing social care funding including the improved Better Care Fund.
Complementing this is an unprecedented package of support for local authorities to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including measures worth an estimated circa £3 billion of additional support for Covid-19 pressures next year, along with extending the current Sales, Fees and Charges scheme (which refunds 75 per cent of eligible income loss beyond a 5 per cent threshold) into the first three months of 2021-22.
This is on top of the support committed this financial year, including over £7.2 billion for local authorities, even before the extension of the Contain Outbreak Management Fund for those authorities under the highest level of restriction – potentially worth over £200 million a month – announced as part of the Covid-19 Winter Plan. This takes the total support committed to councils in England to tackle the impacts of Covid-19 to over £10 billion.