HCLG report on business rate retention: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2018 | 24 April 2018

Today the Housing, Communities, and Local Government Committee have published their report into 75% business rate retention.

You can read the report here.  The County Councils Network chairman Cllr Paul Carter gave oral evidence as part of the inquiry which you can watch here.

The report supports CCN’s calls for local government to retain a significant proportion of the estimated £6bn generated from 75% retention, to address to the significant funding gaps councils face.

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the CCN, said:

“This report clearly illustrates that increased business rate retention will not be the saviour for local government alone. CCN has long argued that the ‘additional quantum’ from increased retention should be used to alleviate the significant demand-led pressures the sector faces rather than going on existing grants or new burdens.

 “This is especially important for county authorities, who face the most extreme demand led pressures; a projected funding black hole of £2.54bn by 2021. Government should listen to this cross-party group of MPs, and let local government keep a significant proportion of the remaining £6bn in retained rates to address the significant funding gap it faces and ensure upper-tier councils are protected from spikes in service demand by regaining some element of grant formula.

 “It is also crucial that the report’s central recommendation on setting out a clear timetable for the fair funding review is adhered to, which will bring clarity to the sector and allow councils to effectively plan for the future.  

 “The committee’s report includes other salient points; we welcome the argument that there must be closer links between the social care green paper and funding reform, and we also support the committee calling for further fiscal devolution to local government.”