The article below by Tony Travers shows that whilst local government has made necessary efficiencies and changes and has reinvented and reinvigorated itself, there are some basic services which are falling over and which cannot fulfil even basic expectations of how our older people, many of whom have given their lives in public service, should be cared for and supported. Its actually a win win- putting more money into adult social care will save money in the long run.
The consequences of ‘austerity’ are now showing up as chronic pressures on adult social care and the NHS, in the condition of highways and also within the prison service. Separately, Brexit will generate a raft of new civil service jobs and consultancy costs. Donald Trump’s election heralds the need for European NATO members, including the UK, to spend more on defence. Threats to economic growth are creating pressures on the chancellor for increased infrastructure spending. And so it goes on. Philip Hammond is the safest pair of hands in the government. Nevertheless, his need to juggle a higher-than-planned deficit, falling revenues and growing spending demands will require Houdini-like skill. Next week’s autumn statement is expected to ‘reset’ the public finances and will be the first glimpse of government strategy for the years ahead