Following the publication by the Government of this year’s local government
funding settlement, Michael Fabricant says "New figures revealed in a
Parliamentary Answer show that Lichfield District Council is getting a raw
deal on funding from the Government and this is pushing up council tax.
"Only 60.4 per cent of Lichfield District Council’s needs were funded by
government grants in 2002, compared to 63.5 per cent in 1997 when the
Conservatives were last in power. As a result, council tax has had to rise
to meet this shortfall. And there’s a double whammy. Councils have been
burdened with extra administrative duties. So the poor Council Tax payer
has to stump up the difference. This is the ultimate stealth tax –
engineered by the Government, but with local councillors taking the blame.
Local authorities’ needs have risen far faster than central government
funding. And local taxpayers have ended up footing the bill."
Similarly, East Staffordshire’s proportion has fallen steeply from 76.2% in
1997 down to 69.5% in 2002.
‘Total External Support’ is the total level of grant from central
government. On top of this, local authorities principally raise funds from
council tax. ‘Standard Spending Assessment’ (SSA) is the amount of money
that central government thinks a council should be spending on local
Total External Support as a proportion of Standard Spending Assessment
reveals how much central government is funding local authorities’ needs.
Nationally, the ratio of has fallen from 76 per cent in 1997 to 73 per cent
in 2002. In other words, councils have increasingly been forced to push up
council tax to fund local services. And Lichfield gets far less than the
national average: just 60.4%. An answer to a written Parliamentary
Question tabled by Eric Pickles MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Local
Government & the Regions, has revealed these figures for each local