Let's explore obvious ways of reducing uncertainty

By Abdool Kara | 21 November 2018
  • Abdool Kara

Michael Crichton once wrote that there is too much certainty in the world, but this is certainly not true of local government finance, where long term plans (eg business rates retention, the Fair Finance Review, the 2019 Spending Review) remain opaque, while short term measures are, as suggested at the recent Society of Local Authority Chief Executives conference, ‘sticking plasters that give sticking plasters a bad name’.

Of course, any increase in certainty is welcome, and some arrived via the Hudson review of local government finance processes. Following the review the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government committed to earlier dates for the provisional and final settlements. It may be churlish to point out this reform was triggered by the ministry’s error in calculating last year’s settlement, rather than thoughtful consideration of consistent feedback from the sector.

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