Comprehensive new funding package; CCN Response
CCN Latest News, CCN News 2020 | 02 July 2020
Today the Government have announced a ‘Comprehensive new funding package for councils to help address coronavirus pressures and cover lost income during the pandemic’ (see here).
The package includes £500m additional funding for COVID-19 cost pressures, a new scheme to reimburse councils for lost income and allow council and business rates tax deficits to be repaid over 3 years instead of one. Below the CCN Chairman responds to the announcement.
Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:
“CCN has worked hard to evidence the funding pressures facing our councils, and the wider sector, as a result of COVID-19. Ministers have been receptive to the challenges facing the sector, and we welcome their efforts over recent weeks to develop a plan to provide further financial support and certainty. The measures announced today, alongside previous funding, do provide vital support to meet the unprecedented levels of additional costs and lost income as a result of COVID-19.
“CCN’s and the LGA’s analysis of this month’s financial returns show full year estimates on cost pressures continue to rise as the result of our response to COVID-19. These costs span the entire year, and are particularly acute in adult social care, children’s social care and home to school transport. Moreover, our report with Grant Thornton outlined that councils will need to bear in mind the impact of tax shortfalls this year when considering in-year service reductions and whether they can legally balance their budgets.
“Although today’s measures are welcome, with funding for non-tax-based lost income comprising the bulk of today’s package of support, it provides greater certainty to those councils most reliant on these sources of income. With costs continuing to rise and no guarantees over compensation for lost council tax and business rates, many of our member councils still face financial uncertainty this year and next.
“We will continue to work with Government to secure a solution to all the pressures facing councils while simultaneously engaging Ministers on how we can move forward to a more resilient, efficient and balanced local government funding system.”
- The County Councils Network is the national voice for England’s county councils. It represents all 25 county councils and 11 county unitary authorities. Collectively, they represent 26 million people, or 47% of the country’s population. It is a special interest group of the Local Government Association. For more information, visit org.uk.
- Our study with Grant Thornton modelling the financial impact of COVID-19 on CCN member councils can be found here