In the early 1980s, many Labour councils were committed to defy Tory cuts. Sadly, every single one of these councils backed down in the end. There are many lessons to be learned from that defeat.
Today business rates are set by, and channelled through, central government. In the 1980s, councils set and collected rates levied on local businesses. They had more scope to offset central government cuts through these tax-raising powers. In that context many argued that this tax-raising was progressive and redistributive.