For England, see Wales: MPs call for tax devolution


Is English devolution an idea whose time has come?

A committee of MPs has suggested that the big English cities should get more tax-raising powers. The taxes involved include stamp duty and business rates, taxes which are in the process of being devolved to Wales.

Committee chair Clive Betts said: "The government should work with groups of local authorities, focused initially on England's large cities, to break the log-jam stopping local areas from shaping their economic destiny.

"The public might well ask, when Scotland and Wales are being promised ever greater fiscal devolution, why not England? Devolving these powers is the next step on the path to genuine localism."

Local government expert Professor Tony Travers told the BBC: "What the committee has done is taken a great deal of evidence about the position of English cities within the British government system and have decided that we have a very, very centralised arrangement in England and that the time has come for major cities and city regions such as those in Manchester or Leeds or Birmingham or London to have greater powers to raise their own money and therefore to have an incentive to build up their local tax base to reinvest in projects such as transport within the city or city region.

"The real purpose behind this is to give the great cities of England the kind of independence frankly in their terms that Scotland and Wales have been given. Remember the economy of Greater Manchester, the economy of the Leeds city region are in each case bigger than the economy of Wales so there's no reason they can't make these decisions themselves."

The UK government's initial response to the report suggests that may not be as straightforward as it sounds.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    It may, or it may not, be a sensible way forward for England, but at least it's proof that it's not only Scotland and Wales that are fighting against the political / economic / cultural dominance of London and the South East of England. Let's rebalance the Island of Britain!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    This fiddling about with income tax malarky is being blown out of all proportion.

    As things are...
    0-£10,000...Non taxable

    £10,001 - £31,865 = 20%

    £31,866 - £150,000= 40%

    over £150,000= 45%

    Just how simple can it get !

    Just what do our WAG boyos intend doing with any proposed income tax changes?

    Surely we (the taxpayers!) should be TOLD before any changes take place !

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    #3 "The reason the 4 urban areas developed separately was geography and the geography hasn't changed! "
    The geography does not change but the technology does !
    People live in Cardiff but work in London now, that they could not have done in the days of the stagecoach. Similarly telephones allow bureaucracy to control large regions effectively.
    The Leeds region is smaller than the old LCC area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The proposed Leeds City Region is a farce! A braindead attempt to join Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, and Huddersfield. NOBODY wants this except a few snouts in the trough who see bigger salaries at the end of it!

    The reason the 4 urban areas developed separately was geography and the geography hasn't changed!

    This is just another attempt to grow the parasites in the political class with no benefit!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The problem for the poorer areas of England and the UK, that this will favour the richest cities, causing further division. Once affluent areas of England start to realise how much wealth they generate, paying out to poor areas of England (never mind Wales!) will become much less politically acceptable for those in power.


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