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Covid-19: Local Authority Support

Volume 689: debated on Monday 22 February 2021

The Government have allocated more than £8 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic. In addition, councils will receive more than £3 billion of support in 2021-22 for both additional expenditure and loss of income. That takes the total support committed to councils in England to tackle the impacts of covid-19 to more than £11 billion.

I sincerely thank Ministers for the substantial financial support they have given to local government at this difficult time. May I appeal to them to continue that, not least to enable local authorities to play their part in supporting people to live healthier lives with more exercise and recreation, so that we can generate the broader health recovery that this outbreak tells us we need?

I thank my right hon. Friend for that question. She is absolutely right. This is why it is so vital that we have provided a 4.6% cash-terms increase to local government next year—a real-terms increase. I am delighted that in Barnet that means a 5% increase in core spending power—another £14 million next year to spend on local priorities, just as she mentions. Funding and supporting local government, which has been the backbone of our response to covid-19, remain an absolute priority for this Department.