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Cities call for control of taxes

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Cities should be given the “freedom to set and retain” taxes including council tax, stamp duty, and business rates, according to a new report.

Councils should also be given five-year funding settlements for a wide-range of policy areas including transport, housing, and skills.

The calls are made in the report ‘Power, people and places: A manifesto for devolution to Britain’s Key Cities’ which was produced by think tank ResPublica on behalf of the 26 mid-sized cities which are members of the Key Cities group.

It also outlines an approach whereby cities collaborate based on their shared economic expertise instead of geographical proximity.

Dave Smith, chief executive of Sunderland City Council and chair of the Key Cities chief executives group, said: “With a more stable financial settlement from central government and new fiscal powers, Key Cities can be an important part of building a new economy based on high skilled jobs and high-value added production.”

Mr Smith said the next government “must” give cities devolutionary powers as “only then will we be able to fully maximise our global competiveness”.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • If councils or groups of council cannot raise the bulk of their income locally the value of devolving powers is much diminished. I do not think it is clear that Osborne (if still Chancellor) has any commitment to devolve the power of taxation.

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