The Rate Escape

Freeing Local Government to Drive Economic Growth

Challenging times demand radical responses; in the current fiscal climate, new and innovative approaches are required to deliver the economic growth that the country so desperately needs. We believe that local government must be given greater local financial autonomy if it is to support this agenda more effectively. But the current system of local government finance in England is opaque, highly centralised and riven with perverse incentives.

Our long-term vision is for all councils to be entirely self-funded from a basket of locally derived income streams with minimal adjustments to take account of inequality of need. However, the parlous state of the national economy means there is a pressing need for more immediate measures that will provide councils with a real incentive to boost economic growth at the local level. In this report we aim to show how an implementable but radical reform to allow local authorities to retain business rates at the local level will create significant new incentives that will help drive the economy forward, as well as providing a platform for a full-scale localist shift in the near future.

The vast majority of councils are straining to throw off centrally imposed constraints and once again be given the freedom to innovate and drive local economic growth. This timely report - with a foreword by Sir Michael Lyons, the author of the last major review of local government finance – proposes a model that will allow them to do just that.

Please click here to read the full report

Please click here to read the press release

News Publications Events

Budget 2014: another reason for authorities to embrace disruption
by Paul Bradbury, LGC

Do we stick with self service?
by Alex Thomson, in the MJ

Maude praises the Barnet Formula
by Harry Phibbs, Conservative Home

Council 'delivers' despite challenges
by Jamie Hailstone, the MJ


Meeting the challenge in Barnet
Posted in Reform and Personalisation of Public Services

Making the Most of Public Land
Posted in Reform and Personalisation of Public Services

New Call for Evidence: Utilities and Development
Posted in Planning, Housing and Growth

Changing Places
Posted in Local Governance and Organisation


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