Let’s talk about tax

By Colin Copus and Steve Leach | 06 August 2019

Colin Copus and Steve Leach ask how we should approach the problem of how to finance English local government and examine how comparable nations use their local taxation powers

There has been no shortage of investigations and commissions exploring the intricacies and minutia of English local government finance. The recent inquiry by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee into local government finance and the 2019 Spending Review, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies report English Council Funding – What’s Happened and What’s Next – tread a well-worn and understandable path, focusing on the immediate problems of the current system and how to solve them within the context of a sustained period of austerity.

While such examinations are helpful in resolving short-term issues, they run the risk of diverting attention from the need for a more radical and fundamental review of council financing.

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