The uncertainty principle

By Simone Hines | 17 July 2019

I’ve just returned from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) annual conference, where the key themes were financial resilience and trust. Another underlying theme – both in speaker presentations and among the delegates, was uncertainty.

The 2020/21 financial picture for local authorities is the most uncertain it has been for some time, with the Spending Review, fair funding review and move to 75% business rates retention all hanging in the air. The Society of District Council Treasurers (SDCT) is now formally calling for a delay to the fair funding and business rates reviews on the basis that we are potentially facing a cliff-edge for 2021 from a business rates reset, with very little time to prepare.

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