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The BBC says that the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will use his speech to the Local Government Association conference to announce that Business Rates will be localised.

The report says:

Mr Clegg will tell the LGA conference in Birmingham that councils currently control less than half of their budgets, but with the localisation of business rates, that could rise to 80% or more.

He will also argue that with the power to spend money as they see fit, councils can better address local priorities and offer greater incentives to attract successful firms to their area.

Councils will also have the power to borrow against business rate income to fund local development.

In his speech Nick Clegg will say:

"Every government preaches localism. This government will practice it. In terms of real decentralisation, money talks.

"We have to create the conditions for communities to invest in their own success.

"That means putting our money where our mouth is to give you proper power over spending as well as more control over the tax you raise and keep so, for example, you can fight for businesses to come to your town."

I agree with Nick. Local money for local spending was a demand from last yer's Lib Dem conference.

The transition will be done in such a way that deprived areas do not have less money than at present.  But over time, of course, the system will become uneven. That is the point. Success will be rewarded. The incentive to attract more Business Rates will mean different policies will be tried some will succeed more than others.

There could be areas which are currently poor which embrace wealth creation and new jobs and thus become rich. Other poor area may not do so and fall further behind. But while the gap may widen or narrow between different areas the policy's overall impact should, as Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell says, be to "kickstart" to growth.

9 comments for: Clegg to announce at LGA that Business Rates will be localised

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