London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reconvened the London Finance Commission set up by his predecessor and asked it to bring forward a “beefed-up set of devolution proposals” to equip the capital for a post-Brexit world.
The Commission, chaired by Professor Tony Travers from the London School of Economics, was first established in 2012 by former Mayor Boris Johnson and delivered proposals for greater fiscal autonomy for London.
Professor Travers has since worked alongside representatives from other English cities to make the case for local leaders to retain and spend more of the taxes raised in their areas.
City Hall says the reconvened panel will look at how London can be given “a stronger voice and the tools it needs to protect jobs, wealth and prosperity.”
Mayor Khan commented: “London’s population is the same size of Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how the capital is run.
“A stronger voice for London will be good for the whole country, because when London succeeds, Britain succeeds.
“We have strong support from cities in every region of Britain, from leading business and civil society groups as well as from every level of London government.
“I look forward to the new recommendations of the London Finance Commission. Nothing should be ruled out and I expect Government to give us the tools to ensure London continues to prosper for decades to come.”
Prof. Travers added: “More than ever before Londoners need their city’s government to be agile and to have the power to use taxation generated locally to promote economic growth.
“London would not take more of the nation’s resources, but use the existing tax and spending better.
“The Mayor and the boroughs know better than Whitehall how to run responsive and effective public services.
“Devolution would be good for London and would take pressure off the UK government at a time when it needs all its capacity to make Brexit work as well as possible”.
The new Commission’s full-make up will be announced in the coming weeks and is expected to include political and business leaders, plus some community representation.