Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2016
A group of MPs will today hear evidence from council officials and business groups on the government's plans to allow local authorities to retain 100% of business rates. We'll be sharing live updates.
The Communities and Local Government Committee's inquiry follow chancellor George Osborne's surprise announcement last October that ministers intend to allow local authorities to keep all of the Â£26bn raised annually through business rates by 2020. They currently can only keep half with the rest sent to Whitehall.
Under the changes councils will also have the power to cut rates and in areas where there's an elected mayor, such as London, Bristol and Manchester, rates could be raised if the move has the support of local businesses.
Some business groups however have expressed concern. Ian Cass, CEO of the Forum of Private Business, said: "We are concerned that transferring 100% business rate responsibility and retention to local authorities will increase the reliance on business rate income to fund other services and will restrict their ability to provide rate relief or to potentially further reduce rates.
"The potential for a variety of approaches applied by different local authorities and mayors could build further inequality into the system and may disproportionally affect those areas with less ability to generate business rate income."
The Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry session begins at 4pm and you can follow live updates below.
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