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IPPR North - George Osborne speech: Business rates devolution opens bold new frontier in Northern Powerhouse and decentralisation

Director of IPPR North Ed Cox, responded to George Osborne’s speech at the Conservative party conference, promising local areas new powers over business rates

“George Osborne should be applauded for taking the devolution agenda into a new bold frontier by giving local areas new powers over business rates.

“The real prize of the devolution agenda is for local areas to have powers over how they collect, raise and spend revenues and this is an important first step towards that goal.

“It will give local leaders the powers and incentives to create greater prosperity – a power which for too long has been held in Whitehall and stymied a rebalancing of the economy.

“Business leaders want to see these decisions made closer to home and need to be closely involved in how the new rates are set and used.

“But the Chancellor needs to set out what this will mean for the revenue support grant and its overall redistributive impact on local government finance ahead of the Spending Review.

“Unless we retain some redistributive mechanism, there is a significant risk it will starve poorer areas of crucial support and allow wealthier ones to collect all the riches.”

Notes to Editors:

In our 2014 report Decentralisation Decade, IPPR North set out a blueprint and timetable for fiscal devolution, including business rates: 

http://www.ippr.org/publications/decentralisation-decade

Business leaders in the north support the prospect of having greater local control over business rates. See our June 2015 report Full Steam Ahead: 

http://www.ippr.org/publications/full-steam-ahead-business-attitudes-towards-the-northern-powerhouse

Contact:

Danny Wright - IPPR North
d.wright@ippr.org
07887 422789

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