A colleague in local government tells me that I missed the front-loading of the local government cuts in SR2010. According to analysis in their authority, local government faces a big hit in 2011/12:
“The spending review sets out real terms reductions of 26% in local authority budgets over the next four years. This compares with overall cuts of 8.3% across all departmental budgets. Local authority core funding from DCLG falls from £28.5bn in 2010-1 to £22.9bn in 2014-5. The fall in grant is more than 7% a year in real terms, and significantly front-loaded.
The percentage decrease to formula grant out of the total budget of £28.5bn across the 4 years is 10.71% in year 2011/12, 6.4% in 2012/13, 0.85% in 2013/14 and 5.6% in 2014/15.”
If these figures are correct (and to be honest I haven’t had time to check them) then this is a big front-loading exercise. I wonder if there is a “compensating” end-loading in some Whitehall budgets – it wouldn’t be the first time Whitehall had pushed the pain downwards, I think it’s called “devolution”.