The dead hand of centralism holds back productivity

By Ian Miller | 20 March 2024

The Budget brought little cheer to district councils. The change in National Insurance benefits staff but creates work for councils and other employers: the second change to payroll systems to be implemented in three months. Did the Treasury consider the effect on productivity when the narrative is about – you guessed it – local government productivity?

One of the greatest constraints on productivity is the dead hand of centralism. Whitehall’s enduring inability to let go is well illustrated by recent developments.

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Whitehall Planning Business rates Devolution Autumn Statement Budget productivity