Laura Sharman 18 May 2020

Report suggests a new tax for people living near to public parks

Homeowners living near to public parks should pay councils a small tax to help cover the cost of their upkeep, a think tank has said.

In a new briefing paper, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) said similar taxation schemes are already up and running in US cities.

The paper also suggest NHS England should have a role in park provision as NHS bodies would be less likely to divert funding away from parks than local councils have been.

It argues that parks and green spaces should be seen as a tool of healthcare in the same way as medicines and therapies.

Linus Pardoe of the SMF said: 'If we acknowledge parks and green space as another means of delivering better health outcomes, should we not look to equip the NHS with the means to ensure the availability of parks?

'Providing – and funding – medicines, physical and talking therapies is a core function of the NHS, so why not parks? Maybe a health service that can provide new boilers can take a role in ensuring the availability of green spaces too.'

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