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18th February 2015

Solace response to Independent Commission on Local Government Finance

On 18 February 2015 the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance, established by the LGA and CIPFA and chaired by Darra Singh, released its final report. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, in response.

This review is a clear and unambiguous statement of the unsustainability of the current local government financial settlement. It persuasively sets out the need for a comprehensive and urgent review of the functions and financial sustainability of local government and makes a strong case for fiscal devolution and greater autonomy for local places.

We are clear that fiscal sustainability must be right at the top of any incoming Ministers in-tray. In a survey to be released next week, 92% of Solace members indicated they were concerned about the effects of spending cuts on their organisations.

The UK needs a sustainable local government finance system that maximises local accountability; removes barriers to public sector integration; promotes subsidiarity, and creates a basket of local taxes that balances buoyancy and variety across a less volatile group of income streams.