This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
Address concerns about the fairness of local government funding

We will continue to give local government greater control over the money they raise and address concerns about the fairness of current funding distributions.

Our Verdict

Funding from central government for local authorities, mostly in the form of grants, fell by 38% between 2010 and 2017 due to austerity measures. Such deep and prolonged budget cuts led to complaints of unfairness, one of the reasons behind the launch of the Fair Funding Review in 2016. This policy commits the government to continuing to address concerns about fairness in local government funding.

The Fair Funding Review of local authority funding has continued, and fed into the local government finance settlement 2019-2020. That settlement is expected to bring local authorities’ combined spending power from £45.1 billion in 2018-19 to £46.4 billion in 2019-20.

Following a consultation on business rates retention reform, the 2019-2020 settlement also confirmed 15 new pilot areas for 75% business rate retention. Alterations to the business rate retention scheme are likely to result in the most significant changes to local authority funding levels under this government (see “Related Policy” below).

A consultation was held from December 2018 to February 2019 on “the assessment of local authorities’ relative needs, relative resources and transitional arrangements”. The outcome of that consultation will help determine funding allocations for local authorities in 2020-2021.

It’s worth noting that although the government claims the 2019-2020 annual funding settlement represents a real-terms increase, there are still concerns that councils are facing a funding shortfall. However, this was a promise to “address” concerns about fairness – meaning to consider and act on them – and not necessarily to “resolve” them. On that basis, we think there’s enough evidence of government action on the issue of fairness in local government funding to consider this ‘done’.

Address the details!

Related Policy

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!