On Wednesday 7 February 2018 Valerie Vaz MP voted against the Local Government Finance Settlement in the House of Commons.

Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I voted against the Local Government Finance Settlement on Wednesday 7 February 2018. The Government’s 1% increase in council tax has been
calculated by the House of Commons library to only raise £219 million next year, whilst the Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that the cost of the Government’s National Living Wage policy will be £600 million alone.”

“The Government have failed to address the funding gap for children’s social care which will be £2 billion by 2020. The LGA has said that over the last 10 years, there has been a 124% rise in the number of enquiries where local authorities believe a child may be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, and the number of children needing child protection plans has increased from 26,400 to more than 50,000 over the same period – an increase of more than 23,000 children.”

“It is concerning that there were serious errors in the provisional settlement. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) announced that there was ‘fault in the process used to extract data’. The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG) announced that 383 local authorities are having to reassess their budgets, with 195 facing a decrease in the amount of funding they will receive. Despite DHCLG being aware of these errors, the Secretary of State responded to questions from MPs during a debate on 19 December 2017 quoting figures within the provisional settlement.”

“DHCLG Local Government Finance Settlement data shows that 352 local
authorities in England now face cuts to grant/ settlement funding allocations from 2015/16 to 2019/20.”

“I am alarmed that the Government is not providing local authorities with money desperately needed for local services. The funding gap will exceed £5 billion in 2019/20 and it is estimated that between 2010 and 2020 local government will have had direct funding cut by 79%. In Walsall, grant/ settlement funding allocations have been cut by 29% from 2015/16 to 2019/20.”