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Council funding cut by budget
THE Budget will mean a cut of £12million in funding to Wiltshire Council over the next two years.
The local government funding allocations for 20134 are already set at a three per cent drop, but George Osborne’s Budget means a further reduction of two per cent in the following financial year.
The council has currently forecast a reduction of 3 per cent for 2014/5 and the loss of funding could be more depending on how the cuts in central government departments affect local authorities.
Details will be announced in the spending round on June 26, but schools and health budgets will remain protected.
Council leader Jane Scott said: “While we will have to find further savings of 2 per cent in 2014/15, we will continue to review how we can work more efficiently and do everything we can to protect our key front line services.”
The Budget bought more help for businesses and those seeking to take their first steps onto the property ladder, while for older people there will be a £72,000 cap on reasonable care costs and an extended means test from April 2016.
This will be in line with the introduction of the single-tier state pension. Cllr Scott added: “While there are no surprises today, we welcome the news that more money will be invested to support local economic growth. We are already working with the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP to deliver more high value jobs in the county including the new science park at Porton Down and other schemes to encourage start up businesses and business growth.
“Anything which assists business and the impact of the economy on individuals can only be good news.
“The budget also assists those who are lower paid and working families. In the current climate every little helps.
Budget key points
September’s 3p fuel duty rise scrapped.
Beer duty to be cut by 1p and annual inflation rise ended, but the ‘duty escalator’ remains in place for wine and spirits.
Cigarette duty unchanged.
Income tax threshold rise brought forward.
Interest-free loans for homebuyers and bank guarantees to underpin mortgage lending.
One per cent cap on public sector pay extended, and limits on progression pay rises.
Single flat-rate pension of £144 a week brought forward a year to 2016.
Cap on social care costs confirmed.
Twenty per cent tax relief on childcare up to £6,000 per child from 2015.