Impacts of austerity on Welsh Local Government funding: cuts to the bone?

Dom, B.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-0889-2571, 2021. Impacts of austerity on Welsh Local Government funding: cuts to the bone? In: JUC PAC Pre-Conference Doctoral Workshop, De Montfort University, Leicester, 6 September 2021.

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Funding for UK Local Authorities has been affected significantly by the sharp reductions in central government funding (Centre for Cities, 2019; Ogle et al. 2017) due to austerity policies introduced by the Coalition Governments in 2011 (Hastings et al. 2015; Gray and Barford 2018). The impact became more significant on English LAs since they were more reliant on the Revenue Support Grants (RSGs) and were restricted in how they could raise funds locally to offset the increased demand from a growing ageing population (Centre for Cities, 2019; Ifan and Sion 2019). This compelled the central government to make regulatory changes, enabling LAs to mobilise revenue locally to fund the widening gap for expenditure and meet their budgetary obligations. This explains why LAs in Scotland and Wales are more reliant on Grants than their counterparts in England (Ogle et al., 2017; Centre for Cities 2019). This led to an over-reliance (?) on grants from the UK central government in England.

This study adopts an exploratory, quantitative approach founded on data disaggregation assembled from multiple official sources, and is based upon 15 years of financial data of Welsh LAs from 2005/06 to 2019/20. The study adopted two analyses of LAs financial data. First, a trend analysis to gain insights into how the various revenue types were affected in the time series. Second, an analysis to examine how Welsh LAs have (re)prioritised the revenue sources in response to the increasing funding pressures during the austerity era.

There has been research on funding for Welsh LAs in the era of austerity (Ogle et al. 2017, Downe and Taylor-Collins 2019, Ifan and Sion 2019), although there is little literature on how LAs prepared for the UK government’s policy prior to 2010. This study will focus on how Welsh LAs responded in the pre-austerity era (2005/06 to 2009/10), the early austerity (2010/11 to 2014/15) and the late austerity era (2015/16 to 2019/20). It will contribute to our understanding of the impact of devolution, changing central-local financial arrangements, and the response of local government to the period of sustained reduction in support from central government.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Dom, B.K.
Date: September 2021
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 14 Sep 2021 07:51
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 07:42

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