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London boroughs demand tax powers to ease funding pressure

Tax-raising powers must be devolved to London boroughs to ease pressure on councils “already on the brink”, an umbrella group has urged. A 63% cut in core funding from government since 2010 alongside a population boom has put public services in the capital under “significant pressure”, according to London Councils.

A report, published as part of the campaign, stated: “We believe that councils are best placed to take decisions about their local residents and should be further empowered to do so”. It called for London government to have access to a greater range of taxes including control over the full suite of property taxes — business rates, council tax and stamp duty.

The group, which represents all 32 London boroughs, said there would be a £4bn cut to core funding for local services between 2010 and 2020. Population growth of 900,000 (11%) since 2010 in London is more than double that of the rest of England, and the capital has had to provide services to an additional 500,000 people without additional funding.

Read London boroughs on the brink – London Councils launches major campaign