The Leader of Leeds City Council has made the following comment in relation to today's government announcement that local authorities will be able to retain all business rates generated in their area by 2020.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“While we welcome changes which aim to give more resources and decision-making powers to local areas, we will need to wait until we get all the details of how it will work before being able to give a full view. We know there are more major cuts to come to local authority budgets in the comprehensive spending review, so this change will need to be put in the context of the incredibly difficult financial position local authorities are in as they look to continue providing essential services.
"This change creates further uncertainty in terms of financial planning, and there’s also a concern that if the Revenue Support Grant is phased out quicker than the income from business rates grows, that will just be another hit on council budgets. Another outcome which needs to be avoided with this change is that it benefits better-off areas and only serves to widen the north-south economic divide.”
Leeds City Council communications
Tel: 0113 395 0244