COVID-19 and English council funding

This report from UK think tank the IFS looks at how council budgets are being hit in 2020–21.

The public health and economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis are creating a perfect storm for councils’ finances, simultaneously increasing spending and reducing incomes. For example, personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing requirements have increased unit costs for a range of services, and most notably adult social care, where many service users are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of COVID-19. Councils are taking on additional responsibilities to house rough sleepers, support those shielding at home, and help with the testing, tracing and control of COVID-19 outbreaks. And the wider economic effects of the crisis are hitting councils’ various income sources to different extents as households and businesses radically change their behaviour and struggle to pay tax bills, rents and service charges.

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