90% ‘very dissatisfied’ with VOA rates appeals system
Nearly 90% of people appealing against their business rate levels are unhappy with the Valuation Office Agency’s new appeals system.
No movement on rates has councils in a lather
Councils have reacted with anger after the Government refused to allow them to move £300m of business rates relief between years.
New billing deadline issued amid business rates relief ‘chaos’
Local government minister Marcus Jones has given a new deadline for councils to rebill firms that qualify for business rates relief.
Rates relief row heats up
The row over the slow distribution of business rates relief intensified this week, when London Councils revealed ministers were warned about problems with town hall software before Whitehall’s last-minute support package.
Government thinking is the missing piece to finance reform
In her last column as president of the Society of District Council Treasurers, Norma Atlay says mystery still shrouds the future of local government finance and business rate plans.
CIPFA conference: Councils will be at back of queue
Councils will be at the back of the public sector queue for additional funding, a senior local government figure has warned.
Austerity fears grow amid business rates uncertainty
Continued ‘major uncertainty’ over the Government’s business rates retention plans is forcing finance experts to devise policy in a vacuum, experts warned this week.
Gwynne: Stop talking down councils and councillors
Local authorities need to be given back decision-making powers, the shadow communities secretary has said.
Councils in business rates information ‘black hole’
Councils that use Civica software may not be able to provide business rates relief promised by the chancellor in March’s Budget until August, The MJ understands.
Dawn Baxendale: Chiefs have lost their public service raison d’être
Dawn Baxendale speaks to Sam Clayden about how Southampton City Council – and local government as a whole – will be grappling with an increasingly uncertain future
Local Government Finance Bill: A big let-down for the sector
With a parliamentary agenda lacking much in terms of legislation for the next two years aside from a series of Bills aimed at delivering a ‘smooth and orderly’ Brexit, Sam Clayden reports on the sector’s reaction to last week's Queen's Speech.
Business rate as an income base requires more thought
local government needs to be realistic about the feasibility of relying on business rate for its funding into the future, argues Michael Burton.
Local government has been left in limbo
A lack of finance reform legislation may give local government the chance to craft a better solution for the future of funding, writes Heather Jameson.
Queen’s Speech leaves fiscal plans in question
Whitehall officials are assessing how councils could control a greater share of local income without requiring fresh legislation, The MJ understands.
Where next for local government financial reform?
With the falling of the Local Government Finance Bill, the IFS's David Phillips assesses where this leaves reforms to the sector's finance system.
Austerity must be eased
Heather Jameson says that without the return of business rates or a solution to the social care crisis, the only option must be the easing of austerity.
100% business rates retention legislation dropped
The Local Government Finance Bill has been dropped from the legislative programme, leaving plans for business rates retention in limbo.
Scots committee hit out at nursery business rates
A Scottish parliamentary committee will write to local authorities and the Scottish Government about pressure childcare organisations are facing over increased business rates.
Little substance predicted from Queen's Speech
The Queen’s Speech is set to have Brexit at its heart but not much else, according to predictions in the run up to the state opening of Parliament.
How will Brexit affect local economies?
As the Government begins the tortuous negotiations for Brexit, local authorities are concerned about the impact of Brexit on local economies. Michael Burton reports on a new study from ex-shadow chancellor Ed Balls.