DCN RESPONDS TO IFS REPORT ON BUSINESS RATES
Responding to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on business rates retention, Cllr John Fuller, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network, said:
“District councils build the national economy one local economy at a time. District councils are the engines of local growth delivering stronger economies that benefit residents and business.
“But driving local economic growth doesn’t happen by itself. It takes local leadership by those who know their area the best. So it’s right that any changes to the business rates must retain powerful financial incentives for councils to grow the economy and invest in enabling infrastructure that supports a larger tax base.
“These things take time to work through the system – as long as 20 years for infrastructure provision – so it’s not surprising that evidence from the last few years is yet to emerge.
“But that should not detract from the obvious truth that the lessons from history that visionary investments can deliver extraordinary long term benefits – as those who took big risks at Canary Wharf in London 30 years ago can attest.
“In relation to social care, as the report states, business rates alone cannot solve the crisis in social care funding which is why we must identify additional new funding whilst ensuring that the contribution districts make to reducing the demand on adult social care and the NHS is recognised through a prevention precept.”