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Funding formula 'puts stability first'

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The current grant formula emphasises funding stability rather than councils’ relative resource needs, Sir Bob Kerslake told the public accounts committee this week.

Sir Bob’s comments followed robust questioning from PAC chair Margaret Hodge’s (Lab) on why needs were not taken more into account when grant was allocated.

The Department for Communities & Local Government permanent secretary said stability was important for continuity and efficiency but emphasised that this was a ministerial decision.

He added: “There are two questions here: one, is how the formula is constructed …and the second is the policy choice, which has to be with ministers, of the trade-off between matching need and achieving stability in the system.

“The last government, and this government, have taken a view that they will not have an explicit policy to converge towards need.”

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