Announcing details of the Revenue Support Grant for the next three years, the Minister said that the funding of £4.019 billion that local authorities will receive next year represents a year on year increase of 0.24%, while the proposed allocations for the following two years, 2013-14 and 2014-15, are increases of 1.3% and 0.6% respectively.
Carl Sargeant said
“Despite the budget reductions imposed on Wales by the UK Government, protecting schools and social care continue to be top priorities for the Welsh Government. Both these services are, in the main, delivered by local authorities and the local government settlement for the coming years reflects this.
“The funding I am announcing today represents a slight increase in local authority cash funding over the four year spending review.
“In line with the First Minister’s commitment to protect schools, funding inside the settlement for schools will increase by £80 million over a four year period.
“The Settlement also delivers on the Welsh Government’s commitment to protect the vulnerable in our society during these difficult times. I recognise that social services are facing pressure, and so by 2013-14, there will be an additional £35 million included within the settlement for local authorities to meet the pressure on these vital services for young and old.
“In terms of council tax, I am distributing the whole RSG settlement pot to local authorities for the benefit of their citizens. This will allow councils to freeze their council tax if they so choose. In doing so I expect them to sustain services and provide the protection for schools and social care funding that I have afforded.
“I expect each local authority to be forensic in considering the balance between the need to sustain key services for their citizens’ benefit and the need to limit any additional financial pressure on hard-pressed households.
“As in previous years, it will be for each local authority to justify to their citizens their decisions.”
In providing details of the settlement, today marks the start of a consultation period that will end on 18 November 2011.