LGiU sets out options for reforming local government finance

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) has launched its Local Finance Scorecard to encourage a debate on the big ideas for local government finance and funding post 2020.

Part of the LGiU’s Local Finance Taskforce, the Scorecard displays some of the options for reforming local government finance that are not currently on the table for consideration by the government and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as who it would benefit most and how politically and technically difficult it is.

The The Local Finance Taskforce launched in February 2018 to lay out a road map for the future sustainability of local finance by bringing local government voices strongly into the debate and facilitating constructive conversations with the government, urging for a commitment to maintain a consistent level of funding for three years and a commitment to cover costs to local government associated with future changes to business rate policies.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, said: “Confidence in the local government finance system is low. Every year we survey council leaders, chief executives, cabinet members for finance and chief finance officers. In 2018, eight out of ten of them told us that the local government finance system in its current form was unsustainable.

“Important changes are happening. Business Rate Retention and the Fairer Funding Review are significant steps towards reforming local government finance; but we believe that to achieve a sustainable system we need a much broader and more radical conversation post 2020. It is for this reason that we have today launched our Local Finance Scorecard, the key options for rebooting local government finance. These options all have advantages and disadvantages but they all need to be part of the discussion.”

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