Sadiq Khan to reconvene London Finance Commission

26 Jul 16

Sadiq Khan is to reconvene the London Finance Commission in order to develop beefed-up fiscal devolution plans for the capital following the Brexit vote.

The mayor of London today said the UK’s decision to leave the European Union meant “nothing should be ruled out” in order to give London the tools it needs to protect jobs, wealth and prosperity.

Professor Tony Travers from the London School of Economics will now reconvene the commission, which he chaired when it first reported in May 2013 with a call for full control over council tax, stamp duty and business rates.

Khan said that the commission’s initial set of proposals set out how Londoners could have a more direct say over a greater proportion of taxes raised in their city.

However, the Brexit vote had significantly changed the economic landscape, he said, and there was now a need for a more comprehensive, wide-ranging suite of devolution requests that will be presented to ministers.

New chancellor Philip Hammond has indicated that he is open to further devolution for London, Khan stated.

“London needs a stronger voice so that we can protect jobs and growth from the economic uncertainty ahead,” he added.

“It is vital that we have greater control over how the capital is run – so we have more control over the things we need to improve our city such as skills training, housing, business rates and the tools to tackle air quality, health and crime.

“I look forward to the new recommendations of the London Finance Commission. Nothing should be ruled out and I expect government to give us the tools to ensure London continues to prosper for decades to come.”

Travers said that more than ever before Londoners need their city's government to have powers to boost the city’s economy.

“London would not take more of the nation's resources, but use the existing tax and spending better,” he said.

“Devolution would be good for London and would take pressure off the UK government at a time when it needs all its capacity to make Brexit work as well as possible.”

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