Manchester City Council

Lies and Statistics

The Council's Executive did as I previously announced publish a draft budget for 2015/6 yesterday. The two reports run to a hundred pages in total so I'm not going to attempt to summarise but there is a link at the bottom for those who want to read them. It is a draft budget and along with all the options published in November it is still very much subject to consultation and scrutiny but does give an update on current thinking in the light of changed circumstances since November.

Firstly we are now minded to just do a one year rather than a two year budget, largely because we don't want to pre-empt the outcome of a general election which could on the one hand lead to a fairer distribution of cuts or on the other even more cuts than those currently predicted. Secondly we can now factor in the Airport dividend announced in December, which does allow us to eliminate some of the most extreme proposals and put some money back into key areas like mental health and street cleaning. Thirdly, we now have a provisional grant settlement for 2015/6 which confirms that Airport dividend notwithstanding we face some very difficult decisions.

The City Treasurer's analysis of the provisional settlement makes interesting reading. Government talk about a national average reduction in spending power of 1.8%. The Treasurer's figures demonstrate that for Manchester the reality is a cut of 9.4%. The government have cut their funding to us by £51m and have made no allowance for inflation, wage increases, population growth, and demographic factors such as an increase in life expectancy for people with severe impairments, taken together effectively a cut of another £15m. If we look at cut in spending power per dwelling 2013-14 to 2015-16, the North West has an average cut of £147.14, the South East £14.81, and government still claim this is fair. Overall we are still looking at £50m cuts next year. If over the five years of this government cuts had been equally distributed, we wouldn't need to be making any.

I missed it but apparently the Prime Minister is still claiming we underspent by £50m last year. The City Treasurer doesn't have a clue where Mr Cameron got this figure from but if anyone wants to know the real position they can find it in the 2013-14 Revenue Outturn Report which went to the Executive Committee on the 18th June last year. That report does show an overall underspend of around £3.5m, largely because of unexpected income received in year, but also shows that in the key spending areas, Childrens Services, Adult Care Services and Neighbourhood Services all were overspent.

The link below will take you to the draft budget

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There are 3 responses to “Lies and Statistics”

  1. franky Says:

    Its no surprise that Cameron would lie, he lied about no top down changes to the NHS, knowing full well what Lansley was planning, and this is part of the problems today.

  2. Ian Says:

    Is it not a bit vague with figures to say that the average cut is 14.81 in the south east.
    What is the total grant that Manchester recieves compared to what an average LA in the South East gets.
    Is it not that fact that they get less of a grant therefore requiring less of a cut

  3. Shades of grey Says:

    You consistently attack the government for cuts on one hand,and yet are seen cosying up to George Osborne at the Town Hall and the CFA on the other.You send very mixed messages to the MCC staff and the voters,Mr Leese.
    Which is it?

    You also stated a while back (on thus very blog if I'm not mistaken) that Manchester had democratically "rejected" the equivalent of a London mayor,and now apparently you're all for it?
    No wonder people choose not to vote.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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