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The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) today called for greater devolution of spending and revenue raising powers as new research showed the further you live from London, the less likely you are to trust the decisions of politicians in Westminster.
Survey data produced by YouGov for CIPFA highlighted differences in trust levels across the regions, with those living in London (23%) trusting politicians at Westminster ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ to allocate spending funding within their region.
This was significantly lower for people living in Northern Ireland (2%), Wales (13%), the North of England (14%), Scotland (14%), the Midlands (15%) or the East of England (19%).
The survey also showed that in regions such as the North or East of England the proportion of trust more than doubled for locally elected politicians (30% and 41% respectively).
The same was true for a number of other regions including Northern Ireland (10%), Scotland (33%) and the Midlands (34%).
CIPFA believes that this correlation between the distance from London and trust in the spending decisions of national politicians demonstrates the growing trust deficit in central government to allocate money fairly across the whole of the UK.
It comes as CIPFA launches a set of tools for local decision makers to understand the resources they have and to make sure they are using those resources in the most effective way possible.
CIPFA’s Aligning Local Public Services (ALPS) project will launch at CIPFA’s annual conference this week and aims to equip and empower public service leaders with the knowledge they need to use their resources in the most effective way possible.
Speaking ahead of the annual conference in London which starts on 8 July, the same day as the Chancellors summer budget, Rob Whiteman, CIPFA’s CEO said:
“As trust ebbs away from Whitehall, politicians in Westminster urgently need to make sure that they are empowering and equipping local leaders with the both the means and the powers to ensure that devolution works for local communities.
“Westminster cannot just devolve the risk of spending reductions without also devolving the responsibility for raising revenue to meet local demand.
“CIPFA stands ready to support local public sector leaders as they make tough decisions on how best to fund services with diminishing resources.
“Through our Aligning Local Public Services work we will strive to give them the understanding and information they need to serve their communities in the best way possible.”
CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 5600
CIPFA commissioned YouGov to survey people across the UK about their trust of politicians on spending decisions.
Peoples trust of Westminster politicians versus trust of locally elected politicians, either a Fair amount/great deal to spend the budget within your region.
Broken down by region:
Politicians at Westminster
Local elected politicians
Regional and local control of budget expenditure
According to the survey three quarters (77%) believe that regions and local areas should be in control of their own budget and spending while a quarter do not.