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Fiscal Devolution: London

Volume 630: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2017

2. Whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of recommendations from the London Finance Commission on fiscal devolution for London. (901360)

I thank my hon. Friend for his work on the London Finance Commission, which recommended giving London a wide range of additional powers. The Government have committed to continue to work with the Greater London Authority and London Councils to ensure that London has the powers it needs to maintain its status as a world-leading city.

I am grateful for that response, but will my hon. Friend particularly and urgently consider whether an element of fiscal devolution—for example, a tourist levy or something similar—might be part of a robust funding package for Crossrail 2, which is a critical part of national infrastructure and will give a boost worth around £150 billion to the whole UK economy?

As my hon. Friend is aware, the Department for Transport is scrutinising the business case for Crossrail and discussing it with Transport for London. It is right that the London region does not retain disproportionate amounts of revenue. Some of the recommendations in the commission’s report are very broad ranging.

If the ministerial team are to deliver anything for the London Finance Commission, will the Minister at least talk to the commission about the difficulty, with Brexit coming, of recruiting anyone to come to live and work in London? The search for talent is very difficult indeed. No one wants to work in this financial capital because of Brexit—what is he going to do about it?

The hon. Gentleman needs to question whether Labour Members are fully signed up to the recommendations of the London Finance Commission. For example, many of his colleagues on the Opposition Benches may not support the retaining of almost half of all stamp duty across England.