CCN Comment: Business Rate Retention

CCN News 2015 | 05 October 2015

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David Borrow, CCN Finance Spokesman, responds to the Chancellor’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference that local government will be able to retain 100 per cent of local taxes.

“The announcement by the Chancellor of the new system of local government financing is revolutionary for local areas. CCN have long called for system of finance which gives counties greater local autonomy, the retention of the proceeds of growth and the power to drive local economies and reform of public services.

“While we support steps towards greater local retention of business rates, we need further details on how the system will work and how transition will take place. Any new system must maintain a certain level of national redistribution to enable reinvestment in growth in all areas and offer protection from the shocks and cycles of the economy. In county areas, the upper-tier council must also receive a fairer share of revenue as it is our authorities who provide vital services, such as social care and key infrastructure to promote and enable growth.

“If local areas are to realise the full benefits of the new system, they must have the tools to respond to local business and community needs. This includes the powers to reduce rates and attract more business, but equally must also include powers to raise funds for vital infrastructure projects which he proposes to restrict to City Mayors.

“The Chancellor has today outlined the importance of major infrastructure to the nation and we must allow all areas the ability to be part of this“.