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Combined authorities set to borrow £725m

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Mayoral combined authorities are expected to borrow more than £700m over the next five years, according to the Treasury.

In the 2016 autumn statement, chancellor Philip Hammond announced combined authorities with elected mayors would gain powers to borrow in relation to all of their functions. They had previously only been able to borrow against their transport functions which led to widespread frustration among combined authorities.

The new powers came into effect in May this year.

According to a policy costings document, published alongside the Budget yesterday, mayoral combined authorities are expected to borrow £725m between 2018-19 and 2022-23.

“The cost base consists of all proposed borrowing by MCAs [mayoral combined authorities], as set out to HM Treasury as part of the debt cap agreement process,” the document said.

Total expected borrowing by combined authorities 2018-19 to 2022-23
 2018-192019-202020-212021-222022-23
Combined authorities’ total annual borrowing £45m £160m £245m £205m £70m

The document later added: “The main area of uncertainty in this costing relates to the size of the behavioural response.”

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