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London Finance Commission

The London Finance Commission (LFC) is to help the Mayor and London’s local authorities improve the tax and public spending arrangements for London in order to promote jobs, growth and greater equality.

The LFC is chaired by Professor Tony Travers and first met in July 2012 to April 2013.

Improving tax and public spending; promoting growth and equality

London city skyline

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has re-formed the London Finance Commission to review, refresh and revise its original recommendations in light of the changed circumstances, following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

In reconvening the Commission, the Mayor stated:

London needs a stronger voice so that the city continues to thrive - creating jobs, growth and remaining internationally competitive. 

I want to see all Londoners enjoy a high quality of life and take advantage of the opportunities that living in the greatest city in the world bring. It is vital that the city is run by Londoners, for Londoners with more decisions taken locally. This means London needs to have more control over areas such as skills training and housing, but also taxes and the tools to tackle air quality, health and crime.

London’s population is the same size as Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how the capital is run. 

A stronger voice for London will be good for the whole country, because when London succeeds, Britain succeeds.

I look forward to the new recommendations of the London Finance Commission. Nothing should be ruled out and I expect government to give us the tools to ensure London continues to prosper for decades to come.

The London Finance Commission will report their revised recommendations by the end of 2016.

Interim report and press release

The London Finance Commission’s interim report sets out a range of options which could strengthen the capital’s fiscal powers and delivery of high quality public services. This builds on its recommendations in its 2013 report, Raising the Capital.

Read the latest press release for more on the LFC's recommendation for greater tax devolution.

The commission is currently working on the final report and is due to be released early next year. This will be made available on this page once it is officially finalised.

Call for written evidence

To assist its work, the Commission issued a call for written evidence early September, on the following questions:

  1. Do you believe that the current arrangements for sub-national (that is, the Mayor and the boroughs) taxation and the responsibility for service provision as it affects London is fit for purpose
  2. Do you believe that London's government (the Mayor and the boroughs) should take responsibility for a wider range of taxation and public expenditure?
  3. If London were to take greater regional/local responsibility for taxation and public spending, which taxes and services do you think would be most appropriately devolved and why?
  4. Does the UK's referendum decision to leave the EU affect arguments for the transfer of power from Westminster/Whitehall to London's government?
  5. Would greater devolution of powers to the Mayor and the London boroughs make it more or less likely that public resources were effectively and efficiently used?

The deadline for submission of written evidence was 21 October 2016.

The commission has received 17 responses to date - view the submissions.

Oral Evidence Sessions

To assist the commission’s work further, the London Finance Commission hosted a series of oral evidence sessions and heard from a range of experts. The evidence sessions took place in the following places and times:

  • London - 7th October, 11:00am – 14:00pm
  • Manchester - 10th October, 10:00am – 13:15pm
  • Birmingham - 21st October, 09:00am – 12:00pm

Each session was held in public and was recorded. You can view the full written transcripts from each session below:

Raising the capital 2013

The report argues that funding arrangements in London should allow London government to make additional self-determined investments in its own infrastructure; both to cater for the growth already forecast for its population and economy, and to promote additional economic growth.

2013 Evidence sessions

Oral evidence

The London Finance Commission held three public oral evidence sessions. Experts from a range of backgrounds were invited to present to the LFC about different aspects of local government finance. Witnesses for each session are outlined below.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

  • Sir Michael Lyons
  • Jim Gallagher
  • Paul Johnson
  • Ken Livingstone

Thursday 16 November 2012

  • Gerald Holtham
  • Sir Merrick Cockell
  • John Dickie

Thursday 13 December 2012

  • Greg Clark
  • Lord Michael Heseltine
2013 Meeting minutes & working papers