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The local funding mystery deepens

posted 9 Oct 2015, 04:51 by Peter Webb   [ updated 10 Oct 2015, 02:08 ]

Chancellor George Osborne announced at the Party conference that councils will be allowed to keep £26bn of business rates to incentivise that tax base. But the overall central squeeze of  grants will continue so that books can be balanced. But which books ? Will this subtle “devolution”  render councils self-financing as they seem to wish ? A Council which is already insolvent due to the pension deficit may not be able to rely on any unwritten guarantee given by general taxpayers. Will it suitably account to the local resident investors at risk who may not realise that they have guaranteed to bail out their council ?