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Business rates: the devil is in the detail

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the Uniform Business Rate is to be abolished with local authorities set to retain business rate income.

Local authorities will also have the power to reduce business rates, while authorities that adopt an elected mayor will have the power to increase business rates to a certain level.

John Dickie, Director of Policy and Strategy at London First, said:

“We welcome the proposed devolution of business rates to London. Devolution will give local authorities the incentive to support the investment in infrastructure and the public realm that will generate jobs and growth.

“However the devil is in the detail. We need to be sure that councils are able to retain any increased revenues over time. And there need to be proper checks and balances if the Mayor or boroughs are to get tax-varying powers.”

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