You might not remember this, local authority finance being such a wonderfully interesting subject:
Currently business rates are centrally collected and handed out according to need. Once keeping their own business taxes, the City of London gains £517m, Westminster and Chelsea gain £1.6m each while the great losers are Birmingham, cut by £175m, Hackney by £116m and Liverpool by another £104m. When the government lets councils decide how much – if any – council tax credit to pay poorer households, what will rich areas do? Without geographical sharing we stop being a nation in any meaningful sense. But that is the logic of localism: the little platoons all thriving or struggling on their own.
But this centralisation of the business rates was one of the things that St. Maggie did. And she was reviled for it as well.
In order to stop the various Militant Trots from whacking up business rates in order to fund their millennarian fantasies, the whole system was centralised as the uniform business rate. The money then apportioned on need.
Unfortunately the internet\’s not old enough for us to travel back and find out whether Polly was screaming about this at the time or not.
Now that the current government is reversing this centralisation, well:
As Margaret Thatcher disposed of utilities, David Cameron is disposing of the state.
Yup, reversing one of the things Maggie did is destroying the State, just as what she did originally was destroying it as well.