Schedule 1 — Local retention of non-domestic rates

Part of Local Government Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 18th January 2012.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Labour, Sefton Central 4:45 pm, 18th January 2012

I keep being struck by the tension between, on one hand, the Government’s stated support for localism and the retention of business rates that they want to bring in and, on the other, the retention of powers by the Secretary of State. My hon. Friend is describing extremely well the growing gap among different local authorities and it seems to me that unless the Secretary of State addresses the issues in amendment 19, he will not be able to avoid that growing gap. I cannot understand why the Government would not want to support amendment 19.