Localism think tank says government’s localism agenda “half-finished” without more financial powers for councils
24 February, 2011

Localism think tank says Government’s localism agenda “half-finished” without more financial powers for councils

Responding to the Government’s proposal to localise business rates and give financial freedom to councils, Director of Localism think tank the New Local Government Network (NLGN) Simon Parker, has said:

“The Government’s localism agenda will be half-finished until ministers transfer more financial power to councils. The business rate is a vital part of any package of reform, but ministers must also use their review to examine the case for new fees, charges and taxes – including bed taxes, sales taxes and a local element of income tax.

‘Ministers will also need to carefully consider the impact of the business rate changes on poorer communities – ministers recognize that we still need an equalization system, but we need to see more details of exactly how this will work.

‘If this problem can be overcome, then localizing the business rate will increase local government’s accountability, improve relationships with the business community and give councils a much greater stake in growing their local economies.”