The Government yesterday announced the Provisional Settlement for Local Government for 2023/2024 and launched the consultation on the proposals which close on 16th January 2023. This followed a Local Government finance policy statement which was issued last week giving an indication of the content of the settlement and some key principles to guide their approach for the next two years in relation to local government finance.
The RSN welcomes any increase in funding for its rural councils to support them in the delivery of services to rural communities.
However, the reliance on council tax to help fund council budgets disadvantages rural communities where they pay on average 20% more in council tax per head compared to urban. Rural Councils have increased council tax over the years to help balance the budget due to years of underfunding by Government.
At a time when rural communities are disadvantaged by the cost of living crisis this seems truly unfair. In addition, the gap between rural and urban councils in Government Funded Spending Power is increasing.
The RSN will explore the settlement in detail and provide a draft consultation response for its members.
Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.