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NAO REPORT INTO COUNCILS – UNISON RESPONSE
As a  report by the National Audit Office (NAO) today reveals that councils are facing  a growing challenge to absorb cuts and to meet their legal obligation to provide  services, UNISON is warning that there is much more pain to come for local  communities.
New analysis of local government funding by the union shows  that the already drastic cuts are even worse than those claimed in the 2010  spending review*.
Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government,  said:
“The coalition’s multi-billion pound cuts have pared local  government services to the bone. It is no surprise that even the most basic  services that local councils legally have to provide are now at risk.
“Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and vital local services  such as nurseries, libraries and elderly care centres have closed. More than 300  councils are still not half way through the package of cuts they are required to  make, so there is much more pain in store for local communities.”
New  analysis by UNISON, the UK’s largest union, shows that the drastic cuts to  Formula Grants – a major source of government funding to councils – are worth  almost £1.2bn this year. This is much worse than the £0.2bn outlined in the  Spending Review 2010.
*Analysis by UNISON, comparing 2012/13 Formula  Grant with next year’s cash equivalent, reveals that the cut averages out at  8.4%.
The government’s 2010 Spending Review already meant that for every £100 in Formula Grant that was paid to councils in 2010/11 just £73.60 would be  paid in 2013/14. The settlement announced by Eric Pickles now reduces that to  just £68.60.
*Local Government already faces a reduction of 28 per cent  in Formula Grant by 2014/15. Spending Review 2010 cut Formula Grant – the main  grant to local authorities – by £3bn; £1.6bn; £0.2bn and £1.3bn in the years  2011/12 to 2014/15.”
UNISON’s new analysis suggests that the additional  cut due to the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement that replaces  Formula Grant with the Start Up Funding Assessment (SUFA) averages over 8.4% – a  very different picture from that presented by the Government of a reduction in  spending power of just 1.7%.

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