A Hopefully Helpful New Government Policy On Business Rates

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.
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Deputy PM Nick Clegg said councils had no financial incentive to boost growth and prosperity in their areas.
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But he said changes would be “fair” and poorer areas would not get less money than they do under the current system.
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Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including warehouses shops, offices, pubs and factories.
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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….