We need a real debate on local taxes

By Piali Das Gupta | 15 May 2019

Imagine the chancellor of the exchequer standing up during a Budget speech and announcing that corporation tax was to be cut and income tax on households put up to make the difference. In a crude sense that was what the chief secretary to the treasury, Liz Truss, implied might be an acceptable way forward for creaking local government finance at the Local Government Association's Smith Square debate last week.

To be fair to the chief secretary, it is refreshing to hear a national politician musing openly about the merits of a local income tax. Central government has historically been willing to create new revenue streams for itself as economic conditions change but loathe to do so for councils.

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