Tuesday 8 April 2014
LCCI response to Miliband speech announcing greater city powers
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) gives a broad welcome to the announcement that Labour would intends to devolve more powers to English cities.
LCCI Director of Policy, Sean McKee said: "Greater financial freedoms to England's cities is long overdue. Such economic autonomy would provide the incentives cities need to grow as they will be able to share in the proceeds of their investments. Giving cities more freedom and control over the delivery of infrastructure would be a positive step and we trust that London would be included in such a proposed settlement."
"London is currently too dependent on central government funds to deliver the projects that will keep the capital competitive and enable it to cater for a growing population. Only 7% of all taxes raised in London, stay in London. When growth takes place in the capital, the rest of the country benefits too."
"If London is not given the financial freedom to grow, then it is Berlin and Barcelona that will benefit, not Bristol or Birmingham."
LCCI supported the findings of last year's 'London Finance Commission' report which recommended the devolution of the full suite of property taxes, including business rates, council tax, stamp duty, and capital gains tax to London local government - this is an arrangement that could be tailored to other English cities.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
- LCCI called for greater fiscal devolution in our recent Budget Submission, proposing that the Government should 1) Allow the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London councils to retain all property taxes and allow the GLA to set the rates and thresholds and 2) Remove all borrowing restrictions on the GLA group so long as they meet prudential borrowing requirements in order to allow TfL to finance new transport infrastructure.