Futures Forum: Business rates: promising a 'fundamental reform of the system'
Because it's all in a bit of a mess:
Futures Forum: "Local authorities are going to become increasingly dependent on business rates and yet by so doing they will potentially drive up the costs of healthcare in their localities."
And promises were made:
What do the General Election manifestos mean for local government - LocalGov.co.uk - Your authority on UK local government
Tories pledge radical overhaul of social care and pensions in general election manifesto | Public Finance
General Election: Manifesto pledges for local government finance | Room 151
Local government leaders and bodies are not happy:
Heather JamesonDan Peters 21 June 2017
Queen's speech fails to mention reforms to local government finance
The Local Government Finance Bill
has been dropped from the legislative programme,
leaving plans for business rates retention in limbo.
Despite the lack of a Local Government Finance Bill, a Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: 'The Government is committed to delivering the manifesto pledge to help local authorities control more of the money they raise and will work closely with local government to agree the best way to achieve this.'
... As expected, there was no social care bill though the Government committed to a consultation of the future of care.
Conservative chairman of the Local Government Association, Lord Porter, said: 'It is hugely concerning that the Government has not reintroduced the Local Government Finance Bill in the Queen’s Speech. Local government collectively must keep every penny it raises locally in taxation to spend on local services to help secure the long-term financial sustainability of councils and ease the pressure facing the public services our communities rely on. Plans to develop a fairer system of distributing funding to councils must also continue.'
Other measures include:
- The announcement of a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy
- Legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse
- A reform of mental health legislation, which will be ‘prioritised’ in the NHS
- Plans to ban unfair tenant fees
- Ensure more homes are built
- Legislation on personal data protection
- Legislation to modernise the courts system
Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network and leader of Kent County Council, said: 'With the omission of the Local Government Finance Bill from the Queens Speech it appears that 100% Business Rate Retention is off the agenda in its existing form. Therefore, it is essential that Government works with counties to identify other ways in which local government can retain more resources locally, without the need for legislation. I would also encourage Government to continue their Fair Funding review and not allow timescales to slip, taking into account existing and growing pressures, such as those facing children’s social care.'
Chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Rob Whiteman, told The MJ he was ‘disappointed but not surprised’ that the legislation had been dropped.
Queens speech fails to mention reforms to local government finance - LocalGov.co.uk - Your authority on UK local government
Public service chiefs slam lack of policy action in Queen’s Speech | Public Finance
With comment from East Devon:
This is no time for council vanity projects | East Devon Watch