Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, responds to the report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the devolution of local taxation to councils.
“The UK is one of the most centralised economies in the western world.
“Local government in England faces an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. If local areas are given freedom and control over their own finances, and the responsibility for growing their local economies, they will be able to take a new approach to funding services in the future.
“Councils have called on the Government to consider allowing areas to retain a proportion of nationally collected taxes paid by their residents, such as income tax or stamp duty, along with appropriate redistribution arrangements and control over discounts and reductions. They also need the freedom to collect current local taxes differently to support local priorities, or introduce new ones, such as a tourist tax.
“Only with the right funding and powers can councils continue to lead their local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for services and save money for the taxpayer.”
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.