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Case for empowering cities to be debated during Conservative Party Conference

Case for empowering cities to be debated during Conservative Party Conference

🕔17.Sep 2014

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs and Think Birmingham, is staging an event during the Conservative Party Conference to make the case for fiscal devolution.

By 2020, around 90 per cent of the UK population will live in urban areas. ‘Fiscal devolution’, the transfer of powers to local authorities to raise money through a range of existing and new taxes, could completely re-energise local democracy, boost England’s economic performance and help rebalance the economy away from London and the South East.

By international standards, the UK currently has a highly centralised tax and expenditure system with the proportion of tax set at the sub-national level only 2.5% of GDP, compared with 15.9% in Sweden; 15.3% in Canada and 10.9% in Germany.

The issue of fiscal devolution has become more prominent during the Scottish referendum debate and following a series of recent reports. Following the Scottish Referendum and as the political parties shape their manifestos for the next General Election, fiscal devolution to the cities, city regions as well as the nations is already higher on the agenda.

Speakers for Empowering Cities: How Greater Financial Powers for Cities will Benefit the UK will include:

Andrew Carter, Deputy Chief Executive at Centre for Cities

Dr Steve McCabe, Director of Research Degrees at Birmingham City Business School

Chris Murray, CEO of Core Cities Group

Tim Pile, President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

Waheed Saleem, Chair, The Lunar Society

Kevin Johnson, city lead for the ThinkBirmingham campaign, will chair the event.

Empowering Cities will take place at 6pm on Monday 29 September at the offices of Squire Patton Boggs, Rutland House, 148 Edmund Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 2JR.

All Files’ visitors are warmly welcome to take part in the event, but please ensure to email policyevents@birmingham-chamber.com to confirm attendance.

The event will be the first in a series of events that form part of the Think Birmingham campaign, backed by the Chamberlain Files and publisher RJF Public Affairs, in the run up to the General Election in May.

The next event will take place in late October in the Council House, featuring Council leader Sir Albert Bore as well as Chief Executive at Centre for Cities, Alexandra Jones. The Council hosted event will, in particular, focus on how the case is made that more local power means more jobs and better standards of living for Birmingham’s inhabitants. The Chamberlain Files will publish more details shortly.

Centre for Cities has launched its General Election manifesto ‘Urban Nation’ Manifesto: “a commanding and practical vision for building a stronger UK national economy based on more powerful, better-resourced cities.”

Updated 22nd September 2014

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