The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has announced an inquiry into the Government's proposals to allow local authorities to retain 100 per cent of the full stock of business rates by 2020 and to cut business rates, and for directly elected mayors to add a premium to business rates to pay for new infrastructure.
Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
"The CLG Committee produced a report in the last Parliament which argued strongly for greater fiscal devolution. The government is now pursuing the total localisation of business rates, but proposes to retain council tax capping and control by referendum which suggests a pretty limited approach to fiscal devolution. As a Committee, we will want to examine the details of the Government's proposals and, among other issues, what responsibilities should be devolved to local authorities in return for the increased funding. We'll also be keen to look at the likely impact resulting from councils competing on business rates and what measures should be introduced to ensure local areas with less ability to generate business rates income do not suffer as a result of these changes."
The Committee is seeking evidence on the following points:
- Details of the Government's proposals
- What responsibilities and functions should be devolved to local authorities to take account of the increase in their funding
- Other possible changes to the definition and collection of business rates
- Effects of the retention of business rates in the context of the local authority financial settlement
- Differences in outcomes in richer and poorer areas and inter-authority competition
- Long-term future of redistribution to poorer areas and impacts on development
- Role of directly elected mayors and LEPs
- Changes to the local role of businesses as a result of the proposals.
Deadline for submissions
Written evidence should be submitted by 1 February 2016. To submit evidence, visit the inquiry page.