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COUNCIL TAX: THE BALANCE OF FUNDING REVIEW URGED TO CONSIDER THE AUDIT COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS

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The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy welcomes the Audit Commission's report on council tax inc...
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy welcomes the Audit Commission's report on council tax increases in 2003/04 as an important contribution to the debate about future funding of local services.

Commenting on the's Audit Commission report into council tax*, Maureen Wellen, CIPFA assistant director - local government finance and policy, said: 'It is imperative that the findings of the Audit Commission's report into recent council tax increases are taken seriously and that they are fed into the balance of funding review, being conducted by local government minister Nick Raynsford.

'The present imbalance in local government funding distorts the scale and impact of council tax rises as a result of the gearing effect. It also affects the ability of local authorities to be transparently accountable to their electorates for the resourcing and delivery of local services,' Maureen concludes.

The balance of funding review group recently invited comment on alternatives to council tax. It is due to report on its findings in summer 2004.

Note:

1.A copy of CIPFA's response to the local government balance of funding review invitation to comment is available here.

2.The balance of funding review does not apply to Scotland. The Scottish Executive (a partnership between Scottish Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrats) is committed to a separate review, which take account of the different social, political, economic and geographical circumstances of Scotland. CIPFA will consider those circumstances before making any recommendation to that review.

3.CIPFA is one of the leading professional accountancy bodies in the UK and the only one which specialises in the public services. It is responsible for the education and training of professional accountants and for their regulation through the setting and monitoring of professional standards. Uniquely among the professional accounta ncy bodies in the UK, CIPFA has responsibility for setting accounting standards for a significant part of the economy, namely local government. CIPFA's members work (often at the most senior level) in the public service bodies, in the national audit agencies and major accountancy firms. They are respected throughout for their high technical and ethical standards and professional integrity. CIPFA also provides a range of high quality advisory, information and training and consultancy services to public service organisations. As such, CIPFA is the leading independent commentator on managing and accounting for public money.

* Summary/ National Report

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