Published: 19th Sep 2016

The government is currently in between consultations on plans to hand over 100% of business rates revenue to the local government sector in England before the end of the parliament, replacing grants that complement the 50% of revenue that is retained under the present system. Their key aim, among a number of things, is to create ‘incentives to push for local growth’. These reforms are hugely important. They will help shape the scope, distribution and affordability of public service provision across the country. Fundamentally, the level and quality of local services will increasingly come to depend on the performance of the local economy. Among the most important questions that government consultations will seek to answer is the main mechanism by which the total pot of business rates revenue will be distributed between authorities and across time. This question gives rise to a fundamental trade-off for Whitehall: between ensuring an acceptable … (To read the full article, subscribe below)