Watchdog warns of post-pandemic underfunding crisis

By Michael Burton | 16 March 2021

Public finance watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) is not known for pulling its punches. But last week it published a study on local government in the pandemic which actually praised both local authorities and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for their responses to the crisis.

The report’s criticism was reserved primarily for the Treasury for lack of long-term financial planning and warned that councils, already weakened by a decade of budget cuts, faced severe underfunding as a result.

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