Our Cambridge and Manchester offices were very pleased to note in yesterday's budget that these areas (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Greater Manchester and Cheshire East) are to be pilots, from next month, for a scheme which will allow local authorities to retain 100% of business rates growth in their areas (currently councils retain 50%). The aim here is to create an incentive for local authorities to bring about growth in their areas.

This sits alongside the review of business rates (trailed for some time) which was announced and published earlier this week just ahead of the budget. The Government has been consistent in its view that property values should be the basis of raising local business taxes - but it is now inviting views on alternatives. Key factors behind the review are the different ways in which businesses now use commercial property (with businesses more reliant on property therefore taking more of the burden) and the impact the current system has on the decisions business owners take in relation to where to locate and where (or even whether) to scale up.

This publication on business rates review, plus the announcement on CPO review made me wonder when we can expect the review of CIL.