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IEA - Business rate devolution brings welcome tax competition to the UK

IEA reaction to the Chancellor's speech

Commenting on George Osborne’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“For too long, governments have devolved spending powers without decentralising the power to collect tax. Today’s announcement to devolve business rates and allow councils to collect revenues locally is brilliant news. Not only will it create better incentives for councils to encourage local economic growth, it will also instill discipline as their decisions will affect where businesses locate and the wider prosperity of the area.
 
“The creation of a National Infrastructure Commission is a misdiagnosis of how to improve the UK’s infrastructure. Rather than central planning, we need to Whitehall to stop choking development. Given the opportunity, the private sector would be raring to build our roads and infrastructure. Lord Adonis’ job should be to clear the decks, rather than to build the roads.
 
“People moving across the country on high speed rail should not be a substitute for people not being able to move house because of planning controls. The Chancellor could go much further in lowering the UK’s staggering cost of housing by implementing a reform of our totally illiberal planning system.
 
“The Chancellor’s plan to sell off the remaining government stake in Lloyds is good news for the taxpayer and the bank itself. We need a swift return for all banks to the private sector to allow innovation, growth and development. This is key to the long-term sustainability of the banking sector in the UK.”

Notes to Editors:

To arrange an interview with an IEA spokesperson, please contact Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications on 0207 799 8900 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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