Local Government business rates retention pilots

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published its annual technical consultation on the local government finance settlement. The consultation confirms the final year of the 2016-17 multi-year settlement and implements Council Tax referendum principles as announced last year.

As part of this settlement, the consultation document also describes how the Government intends to act in regard to its ongoing pilot programme for Local Government business rates retention. More local councils have now been invited to apply to participate in retention pilots, with selected areas to be able to retain 75% of business rates raised from April 2019. A prospectus has been published, detailing the criteria that local councils need to meet if they wish to apply to be part of the pilot scheme. It is expected that successful applications will be announced before or alongside the publication of the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement.

While the consultation document does not ask any specific questions in relation to proposals for the extension of the pilot programme, the final question may provide an opportunity for any organisation with concerns about the extension of local government business rates retention to highlight them:

Question 5: Do you have any comments on the impact of the proposals for the 2019-20 settlement outlined in this consultation document on persons who share a protected characteristic? Please provide evidence to support your comments.

Responses should be submitted via e-mail, before 18 September 2018.