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Councils' priorities for budget

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Council leaders have urged the chancellor to adopt six key proposals in his budget today.

The Local Government Association wants

  • The adoption of a national home insulation plan, which would lift 500,000 people out of fuel poverty, cut carbon emissions by more than 20% and reduce energy bills by£200 for ten million households - funded by a£500m charge on utility companies

  • An overhaul of the council tax benefits system to cut council tax bills for one in three households and help six million people who live in poverty

  • A contingency fund for councils coming under pressure from high levels of migration and an overhaul of population statistics

  • Clarity and transparency on the return£1.5bn of landfill tax from government coffers to councils

  • Reform of the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive (LABGI) scheme to introduce stronger and clearer incentives for councils that encourage local business growth, and reinstatement of the£850m the government has cut from the scheme's funding for the next three years

  • A review of a funding for free bus travel which has left some councils millions of pounds in the red

LGA chair Sir Simon Milton (Con) said: “The chancellor has the chance to relieve some of the pressure on the hard-pressed council taxpayers who have been left to pick up the bill too often over the last decade.

"Fair funding for local services is a must if the chancellor wants to support society’s most needy, stimulate the flagging economy and create places where people can thrive.”

Budget March 2008 - Pre-budget briefing

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