Resources for regions and regeneration

8 Mar 01
Regional development agencies will get full financial flexibility from 2002/03, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced in the Budget this week.

09 March 2001

Speaking on March 7, Brown said RDAs would be allowed to carry over resources from one year to the next, but the spending would be matched with increased accountability and a set of targets to be announced by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott shortly.

His £1bn boost to regeneration over the next five years, in the form of a series of tax cuts, was welcomed by housing bodies. Targeted at enterprise, these include abolishing stamp duty in designated areas and an accelerated tax relief of 150% for the clean-up of contaminated land.

The Chartered Institute of Housing welcomed the Community Investment Tax Credit and said Brown's plans to bring disused properties back into use by cutting the VAT on residential property conversions from 17.5% to 5% had 'real potential'.

However, the CIH said Brown had missed a chance to harmonise VAT covering all types of refurbishment work.

The 10% rise in landfill tax did not impress the Local Government Association. With councils already paying around £240m a year in landfill tax, Kay Twitchen said some of the money should be returned to councils.

'The LGA estimates that £1bn must be invested in the waste management infrastructure to develop the most environmentally friendly methods of disposing of the nation's rubbish.'


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