This is a guest post by Dag Detter, who led the restructuring of the Swedish portfolios of public assets, Stefan Fölster, President of the Swedish Reform Institute and Josh Ryan-Collins, a Senior Research Fellow at IIPP.
Local governments across the UK are being hit from several directions. Business rates, council tax and transport incomes are all being squeezed by local and national lockdowns, just as new demands are being made on local public health and social care budgets. As the second wave of the virus spreads, there is increasing recognition that the central government’s commitment to “level up” prosperity across England is failing. The UK’s cash-strapped local authorities are among the most stretched in Europe, according to Moody’s Investors Service. This is leaving them vulnerable to the economic contraction caused by the pandemic.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In a new report from the
UCL Institute for Innovation