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George Osborne Eyes Business Rates Reform For 'northern Powerhouse' Cities

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The Chancellor is looking at allowing local authorities in the North to keep a greater proportion of the revenues raised from business rates in their area, it can be revealed.

It is understood that the move to devolve more economic powers to cities including Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool could form part of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement in December.

The move would form part of a major drive by Mr Osborne, heading into the General Election next year, to rebalance Britain’s economy away from an overbearing focus on London. It is aimed at creating a so-called “Northern Powerhouse” across the Pennines.

The current system of how business rates are retained have been a particular focus of discussions with the Treasury, business leaders and the other parties involved. Mr Osborne is apparently looking closely at business rates as a way to devolve more powers to the regions.

Business rates were last reformed in 2013 when councils were allowed to keep more of the revenue raised from any increased income in an effort to encourage local initiatives to boost high streets and business activity. However, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has since called for councils to be allowed to keep up to 90pc of the revenue raised from business rates. [more at link..]



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11178284/George-Osborne-eyes-business-rates-reform-for-northern-powerhouse-cities.html?WT.mc_id=e_3628983&WT.tsrc=email&etype=frontpage&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_2014_10_22&utm_campaign=3628983

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How can the government afford this whilst running a HUGE deficit?

wait a mo.

so the central government deceided to allow councils to keep more of the business rates...what did the councils do?

I bet most of them put the rates up anyway, creamed it off and squandered it on useless pet projects...then went cap in hand to the government again saying they couldn't afford it, and are losing revenue.

..so they crank up the taxes again(which drives yet more people out of business), rinse and repeat...it's a viscious cycle.

if they had actually gone ahead, done the sensible thing and LOWERED their business rates, you might indeed end up with more small businesses turning up and employing people.

we need to take a very stern look and hatchet at LOCAL government too.it's just as corrypt and crony and westminster.

Edited by oracle

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Business rate multipliers are due to go up. Normally it's Sep'14 inflation but last year Os capped at just over 2% for the standard to fund the small business multiplier. My expectation is they'll go up by 2%! Mind you CPI might be negative next year!

The revaluations got delayed i think to 2017 but I suppose they are more likely to change than council tax. I'll eat a hat when they change council tax valuations :)

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It sounds like councils will be able to pay more to put up more window size images of shops inside the windows of High Street shops to pretend they're real shops.

Edited by billybong

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More likely to give themselves pay rises and better pensions, after all they will be in charge of a larger budget .... this is how the public sector tends to work.

For sure that as a main priority for them. They'll claim the pay rises and better pensions are justified through the pretend shops - "innovative" like the banks.

Edited by billybong

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