The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has welcomed a letter from the government sent to billing authorities urging them to reconsider passing local council tax support funding on to local councils.
The letter reinforces the government’s position and includes the following statement: "The government's clear expectation is that billing authorities will work with parish and town councils to pass down funding so that increases in their precepts can be avoided. However, some billing authorities are still not passing local council tax support funding on to parish and town councils and would urge them to reconsider. Before we decide next steps, we would like to know billing authorities' perspectives on the issue".
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC said: "Ever since the Localisation of Council Tax support was introduced in 2013/14, NALC has called for government action to ensure funding intended for local councils is passed on to them by billing authorities. While nearly all of the £40m earmarked by the government for parishes in 2013/14 was passed on to mitigate the impact of changes to their tax base, just £13m made its way to the first tier of local government last year to support the growing range of local council services and NALC predicts even less funding in 2018/19. Many district and unitary councils are doing the right thing and engaging closely with their councils over levels of funding support, however, this is not universal and action by the government is needed to ensure parishes aren’t forced to increase their precept through no fault of their own".