Magazine article Public Finance

IFS Report Issues Cuts Wake-Up Call

Magazine article Public Finance

IFS Report Issues Cuts Wake-Up Call

Article excerpt

Welsh councils will be spending less per person by the end of the decade than they do now, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted.

An IFS analysis of local government spending in Wales revealed that per capita spending by Welsh unitary authorities has been cut by 8% in real terms since 2009/10. The institute warned that, despite this 'significant' cut, the bulk of spending cuts implied by the government's plans were yet to come.

David Phillips, senior research economist at the IFS, said: 'Even if the UK public finances are restored to health by 2016/17, and public spendingthen grows in line with the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of long-term economic growth, Welsh unitary authorities would likely be spending less per person at the end of this decade than they do now, and that is after three years of quite deep spending cuts.'

He added that the spending squeeze was taking place against a backdrop of rising demand for services, such as elderly care, while further cuts beyond 2016/17 were also a 'real possibility'. …

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