Business rates

  • MP launches Bill to scrap business rates

    13 January 2021

    Business rates should be abolished in a bid to save high street shops, an MP has claimed.


  • Our new beginning is here – let’s not make a meal of it

    13 January 2021

    There are some major hurdles ahead, says Heather Jameson. 'Government’s quick fixes – to raise council tax precepts and push councils towards commercialism – now cause more problems than they solve', she adds.


  • The answers cannot wait for long

    12 January 2021

    If local government is to play the vital role required in the recovery of places and communities, it will need some clarity and medium-term certainty about the underpinning finance regime, says John O'Brien of London Councils.


  • Uncertainty over rates rebate risk

    08 January 2021

    More uncertainty has been heaped on councils after it emerged they could be hit by a £481m business rates rebate for the office sector.


  • The devil is in the detail

    02 December 2020

    Tracie Langley says that while the additional Spending Review cash helps, ‘it doesn’t help the base budget position we were already managing’.


  • A mixed bag for councils

    02 December 2020

    While Sir Bob Neill says there was much in the Spending Review to applaud, ‘what’s ultimately needed is a complete repair job of local government finance’.


  • There’s not enough votes in funding councils

    02 December 2020

    'Whatever the finance settlement brings, it will not be enough', says Heather Jameson. 'Councils will cope as they always do – or most will – and there is another year to make the case for local services, while the Government hopes it all goes away.'


  • More cash, but not enough

    01 December 2020

    With its £5.5bn extra funding for local government next year the Spending Review may have delivered more than expected – though this won’t be enough to reverse the cuts since 2010. Heather Jameson reports.


  • Online sales tax backed by London

    04 November 2020

    The local government sector in the capital has advocated the introduction of an online sales tax (OST).


  • Think tank proposes 10-point plan to reform business rates

    29 October 2020

    The valuation of business rates should be devolved to local government, under proposals published by the Centre for Cities.


  • Think tank calls for rates reform

    26 October 2020

    Council tax and business rates should be reformed as part of a major overhaul of the UK’s tax system says a new study from the free market think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies.


  • Central government needs to stand back

    30 September 2020

    Dr Jonathan Carr-West asks if anyone has any sense of a sustained strategic focus on tackling the pandemic from government, and he feels only local government can manage the alignment of social, environmental and economic recovery that we need.


  • Future Forum: Business rates retention is doomed

    24 September 2020

    Moves to fund local government using the proceeds from business rates are ‘doomed,’ according to a financial expert.


  • Counting the hidden costs of COVID-19

    23 September 2020

    There are a host of hidden costs from COVID-19 that will creep out of the woodwork over time to impact local government, says Chris Buss, leading to a fundamental shift in the way services will be delivered in the future.


  • Spending Review will 'fail to offer long-term view' for sector

    22 September 2020

    This year’s Spending Review will fail to offer a long-term view for local government, The MJ understands.


  • How councils can reshape the future of high streets

    18 September 2020

    Local authorities—many of whom are landlords — now have a unique opportunity to regenerate and  transform our high streets for the future, say Andrew Knowles and Leena Gillespie.          


  • The business rates system needs to go

    18 September 2020

    Today is the deadline for the call for evidence for the Treasury’s  review of business rates. Rather than tinkering with the current system, it needs to go, writes Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton. 


  • Before reorganisation we need a clear view of the sector's core purpose

    16 September 2020

    How local government 'can sensibly be reorganised without a clear view of its core purpose (will adult social care services be in or out?) or funding mechanisms' is baffling Abdool Kara.


  • Retail chiefs call for more rate relief as Sunak considers tax hikes

    01 September 2020

    Retail chiefs have urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend business rate relief just as he plans tax rises to reduce the £2 trillion hole in the public finances.


  • Taxing questions on a flawed system

    30 August 2020

    The Treasury announced a call for evidence on business rates. Martin Ford speaks to experts about the system’s flaws, and whether the Government can enact radical change in a time of coronavirus and Brexit.