Sunak set to reveal a further £5bn for high streets
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected announce a further £5bn to rescue high streets in the Budget on Wednesday.
Labour calls for council powers to intervene in high streets
Proposals for councils to take over empty shops and a ‘wholesale reform’ of business rates have been put forward by Labour.
Councils walk away from business rates pools amid income fears
Four business rates pools have walked away from the opportunity amid major uncertainty about the future income hit.
Business leader calls for appeals talks to restart
Halting discussions on business rates appeals between the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and ratepayers is ‘outrageous’, one of the negotiators has claimed.
NI councils handed powers to vary taxes
New legislation at Stormont will allow councils in Northern Ireland to vary the rate of council tax and business rates.
'Amazon tax' will make matters worse, says MP
Adding an online sales tax to a broken business rates system will only make matters worse, a Conservative MP who is pushing to scrap business rates has said.
Finance chiefs' rates warning
Potential cuts to the rateable values of business properties in light of COVID could have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on council budgets, London finance chiefs have warned.
Local government settlement shows Government is not in listening mode
It is clear from the final local government settlement that the Government did not pay attention to the submissions of councils, including districts, says Ian Miller. The consultation with the sector on council tax increases 'seems a sham', he adds.
Fixing the fiscal flaws
Last week saw the Treasury put a pause on business rates billing until after the Budget. But the March announcement is unlikely to address the bigger issues facing council tax and business rates. Heather Jameson reports.
There is no better time to sort out funding
Heather Jameson says it will take a wholesale rethink of local government funding – and a social care bill – to fix finances. 'And there is no better time to start than now.'
Treasury asks for business rates pause
The Treasury has asked councils to delay sending out business rates bills until after the Budget, raising the prospect of changes.
Business rates are past their sell-by date
Business rates are an unsustainable way to fund local government, argues chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, and he believes what cannot be delivered locally from council tax should be met from national taxation.
Taxation tribulations for a post-COVID nation
Last weekend was the turn of policy ideas on council tax and stamp duty to be run anonymously in the Sunday papers, says Heather Jameson. 'But more intriguing was last week’s ten-minute rule Bill, calling for business rates to be scrapped.'
Treasury in property tax rethink
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be rethinking property taxes – including council tax and business rates – in a bid to balance the books post-COVID.
MP launches Bill to scrap business rates
Business rates should be abolished in a bid to save high street shops, an MP has claimed.
Our new beginning is here – let’s not make a meal of it
There are some major hurdles ahead, says Heather Jameson. 'Government’s quick fixes – to raise council tax precepts and push councils towards commercialism – now cause more problems than they solve', she adds.
The answers cannot wait for long
If local government is to play the vital role required in the recovery of places and communities, it will need some clarity and medium-term certainty about the underpinning finance regime, says John O'Brien of London Councils.
Uncertainty over rates rebate risk
More uncertainty has been heaped on councils after it emerged they could be hit by a £481m business rates rebate for the office sector.
The devil is in the detail
Tracie Langley says that while the additional Spending Review cash helps, ‘it doesn’t help the base budget position we were already managing’.
A mixed bag for councils
While Sir Bob Neill says there was much in the Spending Review to applaud, ‘what’s ultimately needed is a complete repair job of local government finance’.