Budget-setting – central versus local

Mid Suffolk District Council is in the process of setting budgets for 2013/14.  This is against the background of further cuts in the grant Mid Suffolk receives from central Government (which will ultimately total 44% over four years) and many legislative changes that also have a financial impact.  Changes include receiving 10% less funding for council tax benefits and being able to set the rules for this at a local level -on the condition that there is no impact on pensioners.  Mid Suffolk has tried to focus this impact on second home owners and landlords of empty homes but many low income households will be financially penalised.  Again councils are being promised grants if they freeze council tax but as this grant is only for a year,  next year’s budget will have to make up for it – making next year’s financial decisions harder.  So much for localism.

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