Most business leaders are backing the government’s plans to devolve powers to cities and regions, according to a new survey out today.
Two-thirds of business leaders polled by the Institute of Directors (IoD) said they supported chancellor George Osborne’s plans for devolution, while more than 75 per cent said they specifically backed devolving powers over housing, planning and transport.
But more than half of IoD members surveyed said that they were concerned devolution could lead to higher taxes and compliance costs, saying they opposed letting local authorities alter the rates of national insurance, income tax, corporation tax and VAT.
James Sproule, director of policy at the IoD, said: “The ultimate goal is to create vibrant local and regional economies, each competing to deliver efficient transport systems and workers with the right skills.”
He added: “However, if local authorities seek to avoid political responsibility for devolved issues or to boost their coffers by hiking taxes and creating obstacles to business, the great opportunities of devolution will be lost.”