The Local Government Association (LGA) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government’s further consultation on proposals for the reformed business rates retention system.
Over the last twelve months we have worked closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the various elements of further business rates retention reforms and the Department has engaged extensively with the sector. This joint working, and the fact that all papers have been made publicly available, is welcome and during the passage of the Local Government Finance Bill and beyond, we intend to continue this approach.
We particularly welcomed the announcement by the Secretary of State earlier this year, in response to the previous consultation on business rates retention, that Attendance Allowance is no longer being considered as part of the reforms. It is helpful that further decisions will not be made on responsibilities to be funded through business rates retention until further work has taken place on the suitability of responsibilities to be funded through this route.
However, before any additional responsibilities can be transferred to local government to be funded through further business rates retention, it is imperative that local authorities must be able to use the additional income from business rates to address existing funding pressures.