Schedule 1 — Local retention of non-domestic rates

Part of Local Government Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 18th January 2012.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 5:15 pm, 18th January 2012

I take the hon. Gentleman’s point, but we have to consider cause and effect. I do not decry what the last Government instructed local authorities to do, but the key point is that it failed. The areas of deprivation then are still the areas of deprivation. This Government are trying to introduce a direct incentive to business growth and economic growth in those areas and right across the country. They are giving local authorities an opportunity to change their view and see the direct incentive to have economic growth. Local authorities will keep the money, which they can then invest in the local services that people need. That does not mean that there is not a need for national investment in local areas when infrastructure improvements and regeneration are needed, but that is very different from creating economic growth.