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LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING CONSULTATION RESULTS PUBLISHED

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Results of the Welsh Assembly Government consultation on the arrangements of funding local government in Wales have...
Results of the Welsh Assembly Government consultation on the arrangements of funding local government in Wales have been published.

In Wales 19% of local government funding is currently raised through council tax and 81% provided by central government. In England the equivalent figures are 25% from council tax and 75% from central government. The aim of the consultation was to hear views on whether this was the right balance.

There were a total of 47 responses to The Balance of Local Authority Funding in Wales consultation, including those from the Welsh Local Government Association, county and county borough councils, police and fire authorities, professional groups and members of the public.

The results, together with the assembly government's proposals for the way forward for local authority funding, will shortly be submitted to the ODPM for consideration as the equivalent English review prepares its final report.

Sue Essex, minister for finance, local government and public services, said:

'I am pleased that our consultation has stimulated a constructive debate across Wales amongst local authorities, the business community, members of the public and other interested parties. We have considered the consultation responses and will be submitting the Welsh Assembly Government's views to Nick Raynsford's ODPM-led review.

'These views will highlight key areas where we think further work is necessary. They include immediate reform of the council tax benefit system and consideration of the feasibility of local income tax as a supplementary local tax, with emphasis on ensuring that the criteria of cost effectiveness is met,' she said.

'The assembly government would also like to see further work and research on the viability of returning business rates to local authority control within the parameters of suitable safeguards for the business community. We are also keen to ensure that all of these options are looked at in more detail before any final decisions are made on fundamental reform to the local government finance system.'

Notes

'The Balance of Local Authority Funding in Wales' is available on the assembly's website.

The Welsh Assembly Government's draft responseto the ODPM review is being considered at the local government and public services Committee today.

The ODPM Review will be reporting shortly and papers relating to the review are available on the ODPM website.

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