Local Government Finance — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:14 pm on 17th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Tope Lord Tope Liberal Democrat 3:14 pm, 17th December 2015

My Lords, I declare my interest as a vice-president of the Local Government Association. The Statement comments that by 2020 councils will be 100% funded by council tax, business rates and other local revenues, but it says nothing about the centrally imposed council tax referendum threshold. Surely it must be a logical extension from 100% local funding that there is no need for such a centrally imposed threshold, something else that local government of all parties has campaigned for for years. The LGA also referred to what it calls the “cost-shunting carousel”, whereby local government has imposed upon it large numbers of obligations and responsibilities, either from legislation or other impositions such as the national living wage. It calculated that that totalled £6.3 billion. Will central government at least try to agree with the LGA a list of what those obligations are and try to see whether they can get an agreed figure, rather than as at present it all happen, in effect, by stealth?