“This settlement offers local government jam tomorrow, when the crisis is today. The pain is spelled out in black and white, while the gains are based on long term estimates and heroic assumptions.
Greg Clark’s devolution agenda is genuinely radical, and the offer of four year budgets is very welcome. But if devolution is going to work, then we need genuine fiscal devolution that gives councils full control of their local taxes, rather than ring fenced and regulated pots of money.
Ministers must do more to address the social care crisis. An additional £3.5 billion in funding is a good start, but the full amount will not be available for years, and will only ever be realised if councils are prepared to raise taxes at a level far higher than in the recent past.”