To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the estimate by the Local Government Association that the cost to local authorities of tackling the covid-19 outbreak is £13 billion; and whether he has plans to allocate additional funding from the public purse to local authorities to meet that cost.
2 June 2020
MHCLG continues to work closely with local authorities to manage the impacts of Covid-19 on our society.
The Government has made £3.2 billion available to local authorities in England through unringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have also announced measures worth over £5 billion to ease immediate cashflow concerns. These measures recognise the additional costs and financial pressures councils are facing as a result of the current crisis. ?They demonstrate the Government’s commitment to making sure all councils have the resources they need to support their communities through this challenging time.
These measures are part of a comprehensive package of support for local areas from across Government, including £13 billion to support small businesses, £10.2 billion in business rates support for businesses, £600 million for infection control in care homes and £500 million of council tax support for vulnerable families.
Estimates of full-year costs are necessarily unreliable at this stage since the progress of the pandemic is unknown. We will continue to work with councils over the coming weeks, including though new monthly financial monitoring, to ensure we have a collective understanding of the issues they are facing.