The introduction of a local income tax, an end to capping and a return to local control of business rates are just some of the recommendations made in a report out this week from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
The committee chaired by Labour MP Phyllis Starkey – which includes Liberal Democrats John Pugh and Andrew George as members – also calls for stronger powers for local councils on health and policing.
The key recommendations are:
- ministers should set a higher threshold before intervention
- Department of Health and Home Office should work with CLG to establish a local authority commissioning model for local policing, health and healthcare.
- supplementary local income tax should be introduced alongside council tax with a corresponding reduction in central taxation, business rates should return to local authority control, and capping should be scrapped.
- the Government should prove its localist credentials by introducing constitutional legislation, placing the principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government on a statutory footing.
The recommendations have already been rejected by Local Government Minister John Healey MP who said that “the government has already given councils more financial freedom to meet local needs and priorities… it is right that the Government continues to protect council taxpayers from excessive increases.”