Martin Ford 12 December 2019

NHS business rates claim rejected by High Court

NHS business rates claim rejected by High Court image

Councils have successfully defended a claim for billions of pounds of tax relief for NHS trusts.

The High Court has ruled that NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts are not eligible for business rates relief this morning.

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust led a group of 17 trusts arguing that they should be treated in the same manner as charities, which receive relief on their business rates of 80%.

A group of 45 local authorities, including Derby City Council, defended the claim for a rebate dating back to 2010.

Mr Justice Morgan found that ‘a foundation trust is not established for charitable purposes only’ and ‘its purposes should be classified as governmental rather than charitable’.

Had the NHS trusts won the case, it would have cost council billions of pounds.

A Local Government Association spokesman said: ‘Today’s ruling is good news for councils and the local services our communities rely on across the country.

‘Councils, supported by the LGA, are pleased this common-sense decision will not see them having to pay NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts £1.5 billion in unfounded backdated business rates relief nor see them eligible for 80% relief going forward.

‘Business rates, alongside council tax, are an extremely important source of income for local government so this would have huge implications for residents and the vital local services they rely on.’

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: 'We welcome the considered judgment from the High Court, which makes clear that foundation trusts do not fall within the scope of charity.

'This was a significant case: charity has a distinct status in law and it also has a special meaning in the eyes of the public.

'It is crucial that this special status is protected for the benefit of the public.'

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council ( ECC) can offer a wide range of opportunities within Adult Social Care for Qualified Social Workers across a variety of teams an England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Building Surveyor

Essex County Council
£38001.0 - £43299.0 per annum
Discover the perfect work/life balance - then combine it with genuine job satisfaction. At Essex County Council, we are proud to support a highly skil England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Care Manager - Preparing for Adulthood Team

City of York Council
£30,500 - £34,797 per annum
We are looking for someone who will... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Control Practitioner - Nights

City of York Council
£21,400 to £23,793 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Be Independent are a City of York council service focused on assisting customers to live independently in their own homes. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Arts Officer Projects and Commissioning

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £36,036 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
Are you looking to join an innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking team? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue