Fraser Nelson

How well worked out are Cameron’s council tax proposals?

How well worked out are Cameron's council tax proposals?
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Cameron is on rather shaky ground claiming to abolish the council tax cap. His plan for a national annual tax rise, thus freeing councils to go over this limit in a referendum, has an obvious flaw. What council would get a “yes” vote to the referendum question do you want to pay more tax? So his plan is a cap in all but name, and it’s odd that Cameron should pretend otherwise and odder still that he bills this as somehow liberating councils from the iron fist of Whitehall. As Thatcher found, councils hoard power.

Devolving power can only be done when central power is passed direct to the people: town halls hoard power and can’t be trusted as intermediaries. David Miliband put it well when he called for “double devolution”. He hit his groove as local government minister. He has yet to do so in the Foreign Office.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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