Spending reductions continue for local government

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) found that councils’ Total Service Expenditure (TSE) is budgeted to fall by 1% in 2013/14. The year before the budget fell by 4.8%.

It means spending levels in 2013/14 are to be reduced to near 2007/08 levels. The departments facing the largest reductions are Culture, with 4.2% less budget, and Policing, with 3.8%.

The East and West Midlands are expected to reduce their spend the most, while the North East is to increase its budget by 1%.

Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s policy and technical director, said: “While many local authorities have dealt well with the spending pressures they are under, the continued reduction of spending year on year makes it difficult to see how they can avoid some decreases in their service levels.

“There is a growing need for the public sector to start to engage in tough conversations about the future shape and nature of local government and what level of services local communities can continue to expect in the age of continued austerity and beyond.”

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