Sustainable government consultation – Inclusion London’s response
We responded to the government’s consultation on Self-sufficient local government: 100% business rates retention’.
The government was consulting on its proposals for devolving responsibility for funding ten ‘areas’ to local authorities in return for retaining 100% of the business rates. The central government grants for these areas will be phased out. The areas include:
- Independent Living Fund
- Better Care Fund
- Attendance Allowance
- Greater London Authority Transport Grant
The areas above were our main focus of concern because any changes in funding or the quality of these services will impact greatly on Deaf and Disabled people.
Funding levels based on need
Inclusion London highlighted that it is important that adequate levels of funding are available in areas with high levels of need but receive low revenues from business rates.
Also business rates can rise but they can also fall in economic downturns, therefore government needs to put long term, adequate protections in place to ensure funding for vital services remains stable regardless of the economic climate.
We recommend that responsibility for funding the areas mentioned above is not passed to local authorities. See some detail below:
Independent Living fund and Better Care Fund
Currently funding of adult social care by local authorities is not working well. We do not believe that a locally funded system gives Disabled people adequate support for independent living and post codes lotteries in the quality and level of care and support too easily develop. This should not be compounded by passing responsibility for funding for the Better Care Fund to local authorities, which could worsen the crisis in funding for care and support.
We recommend that adult social care and support is not funded by local authorities instead a national, needs-led system, independent of local authorities is established to administer independent living support, free at point of delivery and paid for through general taxation.
Attendance Allowance is a welfare benefit specifically for disabled people who are over 65 years. With an ageing population the demand for Attendance Allowance is likely to increase.
Local Government Association (LGA) has said:
“Councils do not want responsibility for administering the Attendance Allowance benefit for older people. Responsibility for administering it would create significant cost pressures for councils whose budgets are already under significant strain. That is because cost pressures and applications for demand-led services like Attendance Allowance can go up very quickly whereas it can take much longer for local areas to generate business rates income.”
We recommended that responsibility for funding Attendance Allowance is not passed to local government and that the government listens to the LGA.
Greater London Authority Transport Grant
Demand for London transport’s services is also likely to grow as the population in London is increasing.
We recommend that the Greater London Authority Transport Grant
continues to be funded by central government is not passed to local authorities and paid from business rates.
Information about the consultation is available at: