Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Betts says Local Government Financial Settlement is Bad News for Sheffield

Following the Government’s announcement of the Local Government Financial Settlement, Clive Betts MP  and Chair, Communities and Local Government Select Committee said:

“This is bad news for Sheffield. The government published misleading financial information yesterday, when it suggested that the cuts were only some 4% nationally and that Sheffield would be getting an 8% cut in grant.

When assumptions about council tax receipts and the additional money for social care are taken into account, Sheffield has been given a grant cut of 14.54% in 2011/12 and a further 6.44% cut in 2012/13.

This is a settlement which has switched government grant from the North to the South, from poorer communities to wealthy communities, and from urban areas to rural areas.

As Sheffield City Council’s Liberal Democrat Leader has said he would only campaign against the cuts if SCC lost more than 15%, I can only assume he thinks that a 14.54% cut is a good deal for Sheffield. I think the vast majority of people will disagree.

This will undoubtedly have a considerable negative impact on services and jobs in both the public and private sectors in Sheffield.”

Clive Betts continued:

“Even Tony Travers – independent local government finance expert at the London School of Economics, and an adviser to the all-Party Communities and Local Government Select Committee – has been moved to describe the settlement as

‘A Conservative heartlands settlement which it would be difficult to describe as a progressive redistribution of resources.’

The government is planning to move £29bn on 2011 and £27bn in 2012 from urban to rural areas.”