The consultation “100% Business Rates Retention - Further consultation on the design of the reformed system” has been launched by the Department of Communities and Local Government and seeks views on the design of the new system for local government to retain all taxes raised locally.
FSRH highlights, in this response, that funding public health through retained business rates risks compounding health inequalities, negatively impacting on the success of well-established public health strategies.
FSRH believes that if the Government implements its proposal to devolve the Public Health Grant, redistribution of local rates to meet changing health needs should always take priority over rewarding growth of individual local authorities. FSRH also believes that this document fails to sufficiently acknowledge that the Public Health Grant, which under these proposals will be funded from 100% business rate retention, should be prioritised as a cost-effective, fundamental healthcare spend that includes responsibility for clinical services. We urge the Government to treat public health in the same way as NHS-funded interventions and, as such, afford the public health grant the same priority.
Track the progress of this consultation here.