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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Call to give cities power to set their own stamp duty

A pressure group says cities across England and Wales - including mid-size cities as well as the big urban conurbations - should be able to set their own stamp duty.

‘Power, People and Places: A Manifesto for Devolution’ is a report by independent think tank ResPublica which argues for the devolution of power and prosperity across the UK. 

It claims that with a combined GVA of £163 billion and a population of 7.9 million, what it calls the ’Key Cities’ - from Plymouth to Blackpool -  make up 11% of the UK economy and are growing at a faster rate than larger cities.

The report says that having power over their own stamp duty as well as setting different council tax levels will allow local authorities and industries to specialise as they see fit - although it makes no reference to how this might impact local housing markets if, for example, stamp duty is significantly higher in one location than in another nearby.

“To carry on growing and for that growth to benefit the entire population, Key Cities need greater freedom and flexibility from national policies and centrally-driven funding. Our report shows that if Key Cities get devolved powers the whole country will gain as the revenue generated for the Treasury will be staggering” says the report author and director of ResPublica, Phillip Blond.

The 19 cities are: Peterborough, Preston, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Derby, Coventry, Teesa Valley, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Southend-on-Sea, Bath, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, Hull, Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton and Norwich. 

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