The article below signals that the plan to replace grant income with 100% business rates devolution looks like hitting the buffers on a permanent basis. Ultimately I think common sense has prevailed . Business rates is an archaic system which needs reform at source . Using it as a proxy for grant and proposing a byzantine allocation system based largely on the current grant redistribution process was never going to work . A better solution would be to allow a range of local taxes ( including council tax revaluation - how can it be sensible to use a baseline set in 1991?) supported by needs based grants.
The Local Government Finance Bill was dropped from the parliamentary timetable ahead of the general election and there was no mention of it being revived in today’s Queen Speech. LGC understands Stuart Hoggan, DCLG’s deputy director for local government finance reform and settlement, has briefed representatives from the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities. In an email sent to Sigoma members following the briefing, seen by LGC, principal research officer Geoff Winterbottom says: “There are no current plans for resurrecting or re-introducing the provisions of the [Local Government Finance Bill] which means that the introduction of 100% retention is effectively suspended with no current plans for its introduction.”