“However, on the plus side, when local authorities become accountable for setting, collecting and allocation of business rates, business owners will be able to raise local issues, challenges and barriers directly with their councillors, which I hope will remove a few of the bureaucracy”.
Local areas which successfully promoted growth and attract businesses would keep all of the benefit from increased business rate revenues.
Mike Burke, owner of Embrace Bar on Stamford New Road, said: “In principle I think it’s a good idea for the local council to set it, because they’re locally responsible then”.
At present councils receive 50 per cent of what they collect, with the rest taken by central government.
Mr Osborne said councils in England will be given the right to hold onto £26 billion which they raise annually from business rates.
Osborne announced the significant changes at the Conservative Party Conference which is underway in Manchester, and described the move as the biggest transfer of power to councils “in living memory”. “We are keeping business rates arrangements under active review”.
High streets will be revitalised once local councils are allowed to keep the £26bn raised from business rates, the Chancellor George Osborne has said.
In addition, elected mayors in large cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham would be allowed to add a premium – thought to be capped at 2p – to pay for major infrastructure projects.
Council leader Frank McAveety, said more power over income raising was necessary for councils to boost the local economy.
“If the Government had wanted to reduce the Business Rate burden, they could have just funded this at a national level”.
The Chancellor added: “This is what our plan means”. There’s no incentive to promote local enterprise.
During the financial crisis, many thousands of businesses were ultimately pushed into bankruptcy because of business rates bills. While businesses support devolution, they will not stand for local politicians using it as an excuse to hike taxes. “Let the devolution revolution begin”.
Yes. As a result of this change, all councils can lower business rates in order to attract investment.
“The Chancellor delivered a speech meant to reassure the business community that Government is on its side”.
He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that the new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) would “shake Britain out of its inertia” on making big decisions.