It is clear that local government has borne the brunt of cuts over the last 10 years. A range of reports, while using different methodologies, confirm the significant financial pressures local authorities face. Demand for services has also risen further increasing pressure on budgets.
UNISON hears first hand from our members about the threat created by budget cuts and staff shortages to the financial sustainability of local government. Without action to tackle: equal pay; an agreed replacement for the council tax and new tax powers for local authorities and investment in adequate funding for services local government is financially unsustainable.
There is also a real risk that this layer of democracy will become an administrative arm of central government. We therefore welcome the opportunity to give evidence to the committee regarding the long-term financial sustainability of local government.