Influential think-tank IPPR has today called for the next cohort of MPs to form a Devolution Parliament, and for the next government to reverse decades of damaging centralisation, by giving power back to places across England, starting in the north.
IPPR North’s new analysis reveals Westminster’s creeping centralisation of spending power and sets out how the next government can change the way power is distributed in England, so that the country can begin to solve some of its biggest economic and social challenges:
- Fund local government fairly by ending austerity, redistributing funding and devolving power over taxes;
- Introduce an inclusive devolution process that lets all areas benefit;
- Develop a locally-led regional tier of government;
- Devolve powers to regions, towns and cities to create good jobs, build infrastructure and raise productivity;
- Cement these reforms with a new constitution to make it more representative of the whole country.
Arianna Giovannini, interim director at IPPR North, said: “In just a matter of weeks, the election will be over and a new parliament will focus on Brexit. But to tackle the deep economic and social challenges that we face, we need more than another Brexit parliament. We need a Devolution Parliament too.
“The UK is uniquely and disproportionately centralised. Power hoarded in Westminster has damaged places like the north where austerity has had a disproportionate and devastating impact. But all regions have suffered – including London.”
Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North, said: “We need a Devolution Parliament, which irreversibly shifts power to the regions, towns and cities of England so they can take control of their own economies and bridge the deep divisions that centralisation has helped create.”