Government confirms multi-billion pound spending increase for councils

The biggest increase in councils’ spending power for a decade was confirmed yesterday (24 February 2020) by the Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.

Following a vote in the House of Commons, the government confirmed councils in England will have access to a share of £49.2 billion in 2020 to 2021, an increase of £2.9 billion or 4.4% in real-terms.

The settlement will give councils access to a £1.5 billion boost for social care funding and ensures, on average, residents can expect to see the lowest increase in council tax bills since 2016.

The final settlement also incentivises local economic growth, with £40 million to be redistributed to councils following increased growth in business rates income.

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

This government is committed to levelling up every part of the country, investing in every region and giving communities control over making the decisions which are right for them.

That’s why we’re confirming the biggest increase in councils’ spending power for a decade across England, while protecting residents from excessive rises in council tax.

Provisional plans for the local government finance settlement for 2020 to 2021 were published in December, followed by a period of consultation with the sector.

This included the consideration of over 200 representations across technical and provisional consultations from a range of organisations, and ministers met with representative groups including local councils, MPs and the Local Government Association.