Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Local Government Finance

     There is a never-ending conflict between central government and local government.   Both claim to have a democratic mandate and both claim to know what is best for the people.   Local government wants to provide the relevant services for their locality and to prioritise them.   Central government wants to retain financial control and to ensure that national standards are met.   After all, 80% of local government finance is now provided by central government.   The bulk of the expenditure is on education, so take education out of the equation and local government could be self-financing, raising the money that it spends.   In such a scenario there is a strong case for as much power as possible to be transferred from central government to local government. In order most closely to meet the wishes of the people that power should be devolved to the lowest level of local government as possible.   Democratic accountability would then ensure that those responsible for raising the monies locally were also accountable for the way those monies were spent.
     As far as education is concerned the money central government spends could go directly to the schools and the expenditure in the schools controlled by elected governors.   The responsibility of the governors would be to meet national standards set by the government.   By these measures the aims and objectives of both local and national government could be reconciled and there aims and objects clearly delineated.

                Power should be devolved from central government and the higher levels of local government to the lowest practical local level.   Education should be financed by central government.   All the expenditure of local government should be financed out of taxes raised by local government subject to an adjustment for special needs financed by central government.

What do you think?


  1. Good point - this is a great article. I agree.

  2. I agree with this article wholeheartedly!

    Jane Millicent

  3. This is boulder-dash. I can not agree.