I was watching Michael Portillo’s Power to the People , which was on over the weekend and he was advocating giving more power to local people and also for increased accountability. Not sure if Michael’s become a Liberal Democrat but that’s what we’ve been saying for years. I almost fell off my sofa when he even advocated “a local sales or income tax” to replace the council tax (Portillo was famously the Minister in charge of implementing the Poll tax).
Lib Dem measures to empower local people would be:
- Local authorities to have the ability to set their own local income tax (in place of council tax) and keep the revenue.
- Local authorities to set their own business rates, not have it set nationally, and also to keep the revenue.
- Locally elected health boards and police authorities so these services deliver what you need.
- Allow local people to have a say in planning decisions and have the right of appeal.
- Protect local shops and pubs, by cutting the business rate if they are the last one in the village.
- Ability to sack your MP if they have done something wrong. Power should be in the hands of voters at all times, not just on Election Day.