Think tank calls for sweeping reforms to local taxes
A group of former Treasury special advisers have called for revaluation of the council tax and reform of business rates to boost the economy post-COVID-19.
Jenrick announces more cash, income compensation and tax delay
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has announced more cash and new ways councils will be reimbursed for income lost as a result of coronavirus.
Time to relax borrowing rules
An Institute for Fiscal Studies report on coronavirus regional variations paints a stark picture for councils’ budgets, says Michael Burton.
Counties could be forced to issue Section 114 notices this year
If predictions in Grant Thornton's report on county finances fall anywhere close to the actual financial outturn, a significant number of councils will be forced to reduce costs, and as a last resort issue Section 114 notices, says Tom Foster.
Promote localism to save high streets, says updated Grimsey review
Scrapping high street business rates and promoting localism alongside green spaces and fewer cars are crucial if town centres are to thrive after the pandemic, says retail expert Bill Grimsey.
Business rates grant money could be clawed back, says IFS
Central government funds given to councils to pay for grants and business rates waivers may have to be paid back if it is unspent, a finance think tank has claimed.
EXCLUSIVE: Four months before action taken on second business rates error
Senior Whitehall officials were not told about a second major error in the administration of business rate pilots until four months after it was flagged, The MJ has learnt.
EXCLUSIVE: No bail outs for commercial investments
Plans to bail out councils struggling with their finances could vary between authorities - but they will not cover commercial investments, The MJ understands.
Road to disaster?
With a huge proportion of income vanishing almost overnight, there is the very real possibility that every council in Yorkshire will have to issue s114 notices, says Cllr Judith Blake.
Difficult questions lie ahead for Government and the sector
Graeme McDonald says we have some important decisions to make and a challenging new future to plan for. Will Westminster fulfil its promises and cover the full cost of the crisis for local councils?
Questions raised over rates retention
Senior Local Government Association (LGA) figures have called for the sector to reappraise its support for increased business rates retention in light of coronavirus.
Discretionary business grants fund expected to be over-subscribed
Councils expect to be swamped with applications to a new discretionary fund created to help small businesses that have been blocked from claiming existing grants.
Whitehall delays revaluation of business rates
The Government has confirmed the planned revaluation of business rates will no longer take place next year due to coronavirus.
We must take stock
Sir Bob Neill says that in the ‘grown-up public discussion’ that he hopes will take place after the pandemic has subsided, ‘we should give serious thought to what is expected of local government’
Districts win in latest allocations
Districts have won a significantly higher share of funding in the latest allocations of government cash to help councils cope with coronavirus.
Districts warn of council tax and business rates hit
Some district councils are forecasting an overall reduction of 10% in council tax and business rate payments, The MJ understands.
Jenrick moves to ease cash flow pressures
New measures to help ease immediate financial pressures faced by councils in England due to the coronavirus outbreak have been announced by the Government today.
Tesco defends dividends amid rate relief
Retail giant Tesco has defended its decision to pay £900m in dividends despite receiving up to £700m in business rate relief.
Our Ofsted journey to outstanding
Cllr Shaun Davies explains how Telford & Wrekin Council’s Ofsted rating for children’s services leaped from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ due to an innovative approach to investment and a focus on workforce and good practice.
Local government needs to ‘hold the ring’ on pooled public services’ budgets
Shadow minister for local government Jim McMahon tells Heather Jameson it was irresponsible that the Budget did not mention adult social care – and he says we need an ‘honest assessment’ of councils’ and public services’ funding needs.