Multi-million pound Kirklees Council spending plans have been left in limbo by the Queen’s speech.
A government scheme to reduce council funding in return for allowing councils to keep 100% of business rates was due to be brought in for the 2020/21 financial year.
But finance bosses are poised to re-calculate their budgets after the landmark scheme got no mention in the Queen’s Speech yesterday – the ceremonial setting out of the government’s plans for the next two years.
The plan was set to boost the coffers of areas with lots of businesses, such as big cities, sparking outrage among local government chiefs.
But in Kirklees it was thought the council would lose between £11m and £14m a year.
Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, has said it is “hugely concerning” that the government had not reintroduced plans set to transfer £26 billion a year to councils.
But Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for resources Clr Graham Turner said he hoped it meant there had been a re-think.
He said: “The problem was some areas would have benefitted hugely. Westminster would have got so much money they wouldn’t know what to do with it all.
“Without some kind of equalising scheme we were set to be about £11m to £14m worse off.”
Clr Turner said he hoped the government had recognised local authorities had to be properly funded.
“We’ve had enough of austerity,” he said. “Quite what they’ve got in mind nobody knows.
“We would like to think that we might get a bit more money but you never know.”