Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launches London Finance Commission 2 in his latest push for devolution
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new finance commission as part of his latest push for devolution in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Khan has tasked the London Finance Commission to bring forward a new, beefed-up set of devolution proposals, arguing that “nothing should be ruled out” when it comes to giving London a stronger voice.
Since the EU referendum Khan has repeatedly made claims that London needs greater devolution to deal with the uncertainty that will result from the vote's fallout.
Read more: Khan hosts London devolution summit
Khan said that he has commissioned Professor Tony Travers of the London School of Economics to reconvene the London Finance Commission, a group of political and business leaders which outlined an initial set of devolution measures for the capital in 2013.
It proposed devolving the full suite of property tax revenues streams – including council tax, stamp duty land tax and business rates – giving London the ability to invest in its own infrastructure and promote economic growth.
The mayor said: “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.
London’s population is the same size of Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how the capital is run.
We have strong support from cities in every region of Britain, from leading business and civil society groups as well as from every level of London government.
“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.”
Read more: Now London must "take back control", says Khan
London is more centralised in than other major cities such as New York or Tokyo, and proponents of devolution suggest that the capital knows how to spend money in the capital more efficiently than the central government.
Travers said: “"More than ever before Londoners need their city's government to be agile and to have the power to use taxation generated locally to promote economic growth.
“London would not take more of the nation's resources, but use the existing tax and spending better. The mayor and the boroughs know better than Whitehall how to run responsive and effective public services.
“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".