Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2022/23
The Cabinet accepted this report as urgent to enable consideration of the matter at the earliest opportunity given that the final budget proposals would be submitted to the next scheduled Cabinet meeting on 8 February 2022.
This report provided details of the provisional local government settlement that had been delivered, via a written statement on 16 December 2021. This settlement covered a period of one year.
The report explained that the Council Tax referendum limit had remained at its historic level of 2%, however the Adult Social Care precept allowed upper tier authorities the flexibility to increase Council Tax by a further 1% above the referendum limit. Medway’s Draft Budget assumed that Council Tax would be increased by 2.994%.
Concerning business rates, the report explained that no announcements had been made regarding increasing the proportion of Business Rates retained by local authorities. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities had indicated that the Government would not “move precipitately to a system whereby 75% of business rates is retained because that works against the process of redistributing money to those who need it most particularly in the wake of Covid 19.” In the meantime, the 50% business rate retention scheme would continue in its existing form and Medway remained a top-up authority.
The report also provided details of the impact on other grants, set out at sections 6 to 10 of the report.
The Cabinet noted the implications of the provisional settlement in formulating its 2022/23 budget proposals.
These provisional levels of grant are a fundamental component of the 2022/23 budget, and their announcement is a further stage in the process of preparing a balanced budget.