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Burdens on Local Government

Volume 530: debated on Monday 20 June 2011

Between 1997 and 2010, council tax bills doubled. One of the reasons for this was central Government imposed unfunded or under-funded burdens on local authorities.

The coalition Government are committed to ensuring that the net additional costs of all such new burdens from central Government policy or initiatives are fully funded to help keep council tax down.

The new burdens doctrine sets out the factors that Departments should take into account when considering the costs and savings to local authorities arising from changes to policies and programmes. It applies to all Departments and covers all local authorities, including police authorities, fire and rescue authorities and local precepting authorities.

As part of the Government’s commitment to this principle, and in the spirit of greater transparency in Government, today I am publishing a copy of the Whitehall internal guidance on this issue: “The New Burdens Doctrine, Guidance for Government Departments”. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House and it is also available on the Communities and Local Government website at: