Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Face Long-Term Social Problems

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Face Long-Term Social Problems

Article excerpt

The Audit Commission has warned that unemployment could remain high for three years after the end of the recession, despite steps taken by councils to mitigate the effects of the downturn.

The commission's report, When it comes to the crunch, was released on August 12, the same day that unemployment statistics from the Office for National Statistics showed that 2.4 million people were out of work - a 14-year high.

The report claimed that the recession would be in three 'waves', the last of which could see some regions facing longer-term problems. These include domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and youth unemployment, it warned that the length of the 'second wave' of the recession - in which unemployment would rise rapidly, with further rising social costs in terms of poor health and crime - was impossible to predict.

Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, told Public Finance: 'There is no doubt that councils are facing financial pressures and public expenditure is going to be tight. …

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