Local Government: Councils given new tax power
Wednesday 10 February 1999
Mrs Armstrong said that Britain's most efficient local authorities should be rewarded with the power to raise their own cash, but the Conservatives and business groups immediately condemned the plan as a "back door tax" that would cripple small firms.
Only those boroughs with a proven record of providing high quality services will be given the power to levy the extra charge on top of the existing national business rate.
Beacon councils will have to show that they have turned around failing schools or offered residents other outstanding "bread-and-butter" services such as refuse collection and home repairs.
Simon Burns, the Conservatives' environment spokesman, said that the idea of a new local business tax would horrify most firms. "Businesses both small and large would suffer from having to bail out councils. This takes the gloss off [Labour's] attempt to portray beacon councils as centres of excellence. It is a quite disgraceful idea," he said.
Andrew Hawkins, policy director of the London Chamber of Commerce, said: "We have great concerns about this. Councils have been dying to get their hands on the business rate again, but we believe that no local rate should be set unless more than half of the firms agree to it in a referendum. No taxation without representation, is our stance.
"It may appear to be a modest top slice, but we calculated recently that a company could face a pounds 10m rise in rates for every 1 per cent rise in the business rate across the UK."
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
Far-right organisation has defended its actions on Facebook
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£21000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: SENCO - Benfleet - J...
£55 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you looking to work in Edu...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunity for a nursery manage...