In response to the Government’s Budget statement today, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said:
“The new deal for the West of England represents a welcome commitment from the Government to extending its devolution agenda, and will be particularly important to improving the UK’s poor productivity. But the Government also needs to hold up its end of the deal on devolution and resist the temptation to shift the goalposts as local government prepares to take on more responsibilities.
“In particular, the new plans to permanently raise the threshold for small business rate relief will impact on local government revenue in the short-term, and will reduce the annual funding available for local government by at least £1bn when business rates are devolved in 2020.
“It’s good to see a commitment from the Government to compensate local authorities for this, but it will be important to retain incentives for places to grow local tax revenue, rather than distributing money from a national fund. Local leaders have had to overcome significant challenges to agree devolution deals in the first place – now the Government must keep to its end of the bargain, and ensure local areas can deliver the services expected of them and benefit from the decisions they make.”
For more information, please contact Brian Semple, Press Manager for Centre for Cities, on 0207 803 4316 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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