Schedule 1 — Local retention of non-domestic rates

Part of Local Government Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 18th January 2012.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Labour, Wentworth and Dearne 4:00 pm, 18th January 2012

A number of colleagues have made that point, about local government in general and their local authorities in particular. It is hard to point the finger at any council and say that it has not bust a gut in recent years to see its economy grow and jobs created, because that is to the benefit of their local area and the local people they serve, and that would also be the view of most Members. I still think there is a case for trying to design a system that rewards local people, via their local councils, where they are successful in that. Under the last Government, we attempted to do that through the local authority business growth incentive scheme. The system that we are now discussing is clearly a new way of doing that, but its fundamental flaw is that it tries to fix the whole funding system for local government at the same time as using the same, single tax stream to create that incentive. The new system is trying to do too much with that one funding system, creating contradictions and tensions, which lead to the sort of complexities that the Minister is trying to counter in the design of the system.