Leaked Labour plan for government includes handing devolved governments new tax powers
Labour’s plan for reforming the UK should they be elected at the next General Election includes plans to hand devolved governments new tax powers, according to a leaked draft.
A copy that found its way to the Guardian also includes abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with an upper house of nations and regions.
Devolved governments would also be given a minimum of three years’ funding certainty to give them certainty for longer-term planning, after the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland governments complained about a lack of economic certainty.
Gordon Brown has been commissioned to undertake the constitutional review by the Labour leader, Keir Starmer.
A Labour spokespersontold the Guardian: “This refers to one of several early drafts. The commission has yet to take a view on all these issues.”
But the plan has already been dealt a blow after research published by the National Centre for Social Research showed little desire in England for a constitutional shake-up.
Their survey suggested that 58% of people in England believe the country should continue to be governed as it is now from Westminster – the highest figure since the beginning of devolution.
Only 18% thought each English region should have its own assembly. Labour’s leaked plan includes an assembly of regions and nations and powers for English mayors on education, transport and research funding.
Devolved governments in England would also be given powers over certain kinds of taxation, such as stamp duty, which Wales and Scotland already possess.
The report says: “England also shows little sign of becoming keener on the idea of devolution for itself – other than not allowing Scottish MPs to vote on English laws, where a procedure that might be thought to address that sentiment has now been withdrawn.
“Finding a set of constitutional arrangements that would satisfy public opinion across the UK appears to have become more difficult.”
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