The Chancellor, George Osborne announced that local councils will have the power to set their own business rates and spend the money raised.
In a speech at the Conservative Party conference he outlined that:
- By 2020 councils will retain 100% of local taxes, including the £26bn from business rates
- The uniform business rate will be abolished
- The core grant from Westminster will be phased out
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“We hope the outcome of these new freedoms for local government is that investment in high-quality care and support services for people with dementia are prioritised. However, it is essential that the Government ensures that councils which struggle to raise business rates, but still have high levels of need for social services, receive support to continue to provide services for vulnerable older people.
“Currently funding pressures and the growing number of people with dementia is creating a worrying gap between supply and demand for specialist services across the country. These new financial freedoms should be used as an opportunity to drive improvements in the quality of services that people with dementia receive, not widen the ‘dementia gap’.”