An interesting story on the BBC website:
Councils in England will be allowed to keep the business rates they collect rather than paying them into Treasury coffers, under new government plans.
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said councils had no financial incentive to boost growth and prosperity in their areas.
But he said changes would be “fair” and poorer areas would not get less money than they do under the current system.
Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including warehouses shops, offices, pubs and factories.
They are calculated and collected by local authorities, and at present are put into a central pool before being redistributed to all councils in the form of a grant.
The full article is here.
Nick Clegg is right – up till now, councils have simply acted as a collection system for business rates. Whatever councils collect is passed to government. If councils will be able to keep what they collect , this could be a real incentive to encourage new business. And a real incentive to help struggling businesses (e.g. by keeping car parking charges down).
Also makes you wonder how any expansion of the airport will relate to this….