Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), comments on the demands CIPFA has made, alongside businesses and local governments organisations, to the government on business rate reform:
'CIPFA strongly supports reform that would enable local economies to grow and fully recognises that local government may need to be more flexible with businesses to encourage this. However, we are conscious that a move to CPI must not further reduce funding for local authorities whose budgets are already stretched.
'The CBI have calculated that a move to CPI from RPI could save firms up to £1.5bn annually. This should not be an excuse to undercut funding to local government by this amount. Any such reform to the way business rate increases are calculated must ensure funding for councils remains fiscally neutral.'
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CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, we champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services.