Andy's article suggest a radical move but technically easy step for the Government which would (with appropriate needs based distribution) provide a real boost for local public spending in both revenue and capital terms.
Whilst I personally don't think business rates is either a good way of taxing business (too many big companies escape it as not high street based) or of funding local government (using business to directly fund the majority of local services such as adult social care feels odd) - this does present a viable option in terms of democratic accountability. Spending this money locally will be far better challenged and scrutinised in Local government than it ever would be in Whitehall.
Whilst much rhetoric is suggesting austerity is over (or rather, the public is tired of that narrative) the chancellor will no doubt emphasise that we will still need to live within our means and a growing economy is needed to generate the tax revenues to fund public services. The clamour for more resources to invest in the NHS, social care, infrastructure, schools, public service pay, housing and fire safety is building and it seems likely there will need to be some further investment to improve public services, public confidence in them and to get a budget passed in the House of Commons with a slim majority