Mark Whitehead 08 December 2017

Watchdog calls for more transparency over non-domestic rates distribution

Watchdog calls for more transparency over non-domestic rates distribution image

The Scottish Government must be more transparent in the way it reports on its non-domestic (business) rates, the official financial watchdog has warned.

In a new report, the auditor general Caroline Gardner says the Holyrood government's account showed a £297m deficit at the end of 2016/17, meaning it had redistributed more income from non-domestic rates in recent years than councils had collected.

She notes that although the Scottish Government has signalled its intention to bring the account into balance over a number of years, it had no formal plan to do so.

Ms Gardner said information about non-domestic rates, which are collected by councils and pooled by the Scottish Government before being redistributed back to local authorities, was fragmented across several accounts and budget documents.

But she suggested the establishment of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, which will provide independent forecasts of non-domestic rates, offered an opportunity to increase transparency.

She said: 'The arrival of new financial powers brings significant changes and increasing complexity to the Scottish budget.

'Better and more transparent information about the key components of the budget, including non-domestic rates, is essential to supporting effective parliamentary decision-making in this new environment.'

Highways jobs

Senior Manager – Older Adults – Residential Care

Cumbria County Council
£68,709 - £71,218
This pivotal role requires leadership and management of the Council's twenty in house Residential Care services Carlisle, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Deputyship Case Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £26260 per annum
Essex Legal Services provide high quality, professional, legal advice across the Council and to increasing numbers of external clients. Providing a cl England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker- Children in Care

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £41000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Colchester and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSW is £27,775 per annum England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Technical Support Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£21.591 - £25.809
Using your administrative and communication skills to the full, you’ll provide invaluable support across our busy Directorate.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine