Raising revenue: should it be set by the South East?

Thursday, 18 November, 2021

COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the local government challenge of meeting expectations for local services delivery with fewer resources.  


In our recent poll – SE 1,000 biannual monitor Autumn 2021 – we asked local people, businesses and councillors what forms of revenue raising should be considered at a local or regional level.  


  • Most said Business Rates should be set and managed locally (41%) or regionally (25%). Business rates are currently determined by central government through a ‘multiplier’ which is then applied to the rateable value (an estimate of the market rental value of a property).  


  • Most consider a Tourist Tax as a matter to be set and managed locally (37%) or regionally (25%). Several UK cities have called for a local tourist levy to follow suit with numerous global cities. 


  • Around half think the Apprenticeship Levy should be set and managed locally (24%) or regionally (26%). Launched in 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy is set by central government. 


Find out what respondents said about other forms of tax including stamp duty, vehicle excise duty and air passenger duty by downloading the South East Council’s SE 1,000 biannual monitor Autumn 2021 


Confidence in local government remains high with 55% of respondents indicating they were confident in their local council in making the right decision for their local area compared to 44% having confidence in central government. 


South East Councils believes a new, innovative approach may be needed to raise revenue. Many hoped last month’s Spending Review would signal an economic ‘reset’ to provide a stable funding outlook for councils.  

Two men in a meeting | Councils in Partnership - South East Councils