London mayor Sadiq Khan has renewed calls for more devolution of power from Westminster to City Hall.
The mayor’s office today will release a report calling on “wholesale reform” of council tax and business rates so revenues from each stay with local authorities to spend on public services, education and housing.
Khan also reiterated long-held calls to devolve more commuter rail services into London from central to local government control.
“Westminster is either incapable or unwilling to get to grips with the challenges faced by cities and regions,” Khan said.
“It’s well established that London is a global city – but it’s also an English city and a British city too. I want to strengthen those ties, which we won’t achieve by making London poorer through cutting levels of investment.”
In the report ‘London and the UK – A Declaration for Interdependence’ Khan argues that public spending per head in London is not particularly high compared to the rest of the UK and that average household incomes are no higher once the cost of housing is considered.
Alongside the report the mayor’s office has published the evidence base for his local industrial strategy for London, which shows that growth in productivity in the capital has stalled since the 2008 financial crisis.
CBI London director Eddie Curzon added: “Further devolution in the capital will enable London to tackle some of its most pressing issues, including access to affordable homes, reducing crime and creating social cohesion, and ensuring it retains its status as a global city of the first order.”
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