Polly Simpson

Polly Simpson

Research Economist

Education:

BA Economics and Management (1st Class), University of Oxford, 2014

Polly joined the IFS in 2016 as a Research Economist in the Pensions and Public Finance sector. Her current work covers devolved and local government finance, and analysis of public spending. Before joining IFS she worked in the Government Economic Service at the Department for Education and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

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100% business rate retention pilots: what can be learnt and at what cost?

| Briefing Note

The business rates retention scheme (BRRS) means that councils bear a proportion of the real-terms change in business rates revenues in their areas. When the BRRS was introduced in 2013–14, this proportion was up to 50%. However, since April 2017, the government has been piloting 100% retention of real-terms changes in business rates revenues in a number of areas of England. From April 2018, a further 10 areas are piloting 100% schemes. In this briefing note, we examine two questions. First, what are the financial implications of the pilots for different councils? In particular, what is the financial benefit to councils taking part in the pilots, and what does this imply for those councils not in pilot areas? Second, what can be learnt from these pilots? The government has explicitly set out what it hopes to learn, but how informative are the pilots actually likely to be?

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