Recent years have seen major changes to the structure and level of funding for councils, especially in England. The next few years will see even bigger changes, with the shift to 100% business rates retention, the abolition of general grant funding, and the devolution of additional responsibilities.
The IFS is launching a major new research programme on local government finance and devolution, supported by a consortium of private and public sector funders. The programme will aim to build a clear understanding of the effect of recent reforms to local government funding on councils' decisions and local socio-economic outcomes. It will also analyse the options for 100% business rates retention and examine the potential for further devolution.
In this event we will launch our first paper which:
- looks at how councils' revenue and spending have changed in England, Scotland and Wales in recent years;
- discusses the significant reforms to the structure of council funding that have taken place so far;
- includes some initial analysis of key issues for 100% retention such as the extent to which insurance and equalisation should play a role, and the issues to consider for devolution of additional responsibilities alongside 100% retention.
Following this presentation there will be a panel discussion by key stakeholders, chaired by Michael Burton, Editorial Director of the Municipal Journal. Finally, we will be seeking input from the audience on the issues our new programme should consider.
The presentation given at the event can be found here.