Laura Sharman 29 October 2019

Think tank calls for ‘devolution evolution’

A greater devolution of powers and funding would help tackle Britain’s geographical inequalities, a report has said today.

Published by Centre for Policy Studies, the report highlights that London attracts roughly three times more transport investment per head than the rest of the country; exports £100bn more than any other region bar the South East; and attracts more than three times as much Foreign Direct Investment.

To tackle these inequalities, the report calls for a new Devolution Framework and a levelling up of mayoral powers.

It also wants the creation of a new National Infrastructure Fund and Opportunity Zones to give the most deprived areas more incentives to succeed.

The report calls for a range of fiscal devolution including giving local authorities the power to set council tax rates.

Robert Colvile, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: 'The best way to level up Britain's regions is not to punish the south for its prosperity, but to give every part of Britain the freedom, and the tools, to compete for talent, investment and infrastructure.

‘It's no coincidence that we are simultaneously one of the most centralised countries in Europe and one of the most geographically unequal.'

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