Councils stare into a highly uncertain financial future
Extra funding will help English councils this year, but big questions remain for 2021 and beyond, says associate director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies David Phillips.
Government should grasp the council tax nettle
Council tax needs to be revalued and should be reformed – and this government has both the ‘levelling-up’ mandate and narrative, says David Phillips.
Just a lull in the funding storm?
David Phillips examines the choices the next Government will face, including whether (and how much) to raise taxes. What it decides could have big implications for councils and those who rely on their services.
Money for something
The Spending Round announcement last week seems a positive move for the sector on the face of it, but raises questions over the the future balance between central control and local discretion says David Phillips.
Grabbing a larger slice of the cake
On paper, cash-strapped councils face many options for raising revenue. As they await the Spending Review, David Phillips argues they need ‘cake decisiveness...to plan how to grow the cake for an increasingly austere diet'.
Is a 'fair' funding system in reach?
We may never agree on what ‘fair’ funding is but the opportunity of a more transparent system is in our grasp, writes David Phillips.
A bigger picture for financial reform
Local government finance reform is not a purely technical exercise. It asks big questions about the kind of country we want to be and the big picture of what we want to achieve with local public services. These issues must be properly debated says David Phillips.
Placing faith in the pilots
From this month, a second wave of pilots have started 100% rates retention. Neil Amin-Smith and David Phillips from the Institute for Fiscal Studies examine the Government’s claims regarding these pilots.
IFS: How views of local government finance vary across councils
David Phillips looks analyses the results of the IFS's latest business rates report.
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.
How business rate reforms will hit councils
David Phillips examines the drawbacks of proposed reforms to the business rates system
Planning for the rates revolution
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) today launched the first of a series of studies into local government finance and devolution, in a programme whose supporters include The MJ. The IFS’s David Phillips outlines its plans
Solution for the revolution
Ongoing changes to the way councils in England are funded are genuinely revolutionary. They bring greater financial accountability and incentives but also risks and challenges, as the IFS' David Phillips explains