One interesting little wrinkle in the “we are only cutting ‘spending power’ of local government by an average 4.4%”. Eric Pickles and the Coalition can only claim this because the local government ‘spending power’ figures appear to include £1bn of NHS money transferred to local government for social care.
But hang on a minute, didn’t the Government claim this £1bn as part of the “protected” NHS budget in the Spending Review? Indeed it did. So, after having accused the Labour government of double and triple counting (which they did sometimes) now we find the that the paragons of virtue in Opposition swiftly convert to the same tactics in Government. Why am I not surprised?
Please do not misunderstand – using health money to unblock beds by funding social care is perfectly laudable. Just, don’t count it twice please.