Business rates reform: Complexity ahoy?

The Government has the opportunity to create a simple, strong, long-term financial incentive for growth. Eric Pickles has started out in the right direction, yet there still remains room for improvement.

Briefing published on 31 July 2011 by Kieran Larkin

With its tariffs, top-ups, levys, pools and protections for business you could be forgiven for thinking that last week’s announcement on the Local Government Resource Review (LGRR) owed more to 17th Century mercantilism than a reform of local government finance.

The technical content will no doubt turn many off, but the reforms are tremendously important. They offer the opportunity to introduce real financial incentives for growth into the system of local governmentfinance.  In the week prior to the announcement, the Centre for Cities launched its own review of theoptions in a report entitled Room for Improvement.

In this briefing we outline the main points of the consultation document, and the implications for cities.