English council funding: what's happened and what's next

Document type
Smith, Neil Amin; Phillips, David
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
29 May 2019
IFS Briefing note; BN250
Social Policy, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Housing and Homelessness, Health Services, Children and Young People, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This briefing note reports on local government funding.

On average, local government spending on services has fallen by 21% in real terms since 2009–10. However, those cuts have not been equally distributed across the country, and have been larger in more deprived than more affluent areas. This pattern of cuts has meant that spending per person in the most deprived fifth of councils has fallen from 1.52 times to 1.25 times the level in the least deprived fifth between 2009-10 and 2017-18.

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