Today, I am publishing a technical consultation paper on the approach to the 2017-18 local government finance settlement. This will confirm the approach for 2017-18 already set out alongside the 2016-17 settlement, offering local authorities in England that are committed to reform, a four-year settlement offer, which will give funding certainty for the remainder of the Parliament.
The consultation reconfirms the Government’s commitment to the four-year settlement offer and seeks views on expanding this offer. It also outlines:
the proposed approach to distributing funding through the improved Better Care Fund to support adult social care, in line with the approach taken in the 2016-17 settlement;
the approach to council tax referendum principles for 2017-18, including once again a core principle of 2% (with additional flexibilities for shire district councils and lower-quartile police and crime commissioners), and a continuation of the adult social care precept of an additional 2%;
a proposal for a referendum principle of 2% for the larger, higher-spending town and parish councils, with consideration being given to extending the principle to all local precepting authorities;
the proposed approach for adjusting business rates retention tariffs and top-ups to cancel out, as far as is practicable, the impact of the 2017 business rates revaluation on local authorities’ income.
In line with the Government’s work to devolve power and budgets to local authorities, the consultation also proposes measures to enable certain local authorities to pilot 100% business rates retention, designed to ensure that other authorities are not adversely affected by these pilots, together with measures covering the allocation of funding streams within devolution deal areas, if all affected councils agree.
The consultation paper can be found at: