Howarth backs call for spending power to solve transport problems

July 23, 2009 10:36 AM

David Howarth at railway stationMP David Howarth has backed Cambridge Transport Commission's claims that the city should have the power to spend its own taxes paid to the government to solve its transport problems.

He says it is the only way forward in the long term if the city is to have a working transport system.

"We cannot trust the government to come up with the money it has promised," said Mr Howarth. "We have seen this week how it can take away £6 million of the Housing Growth Fund promised to the county without any discussion.

"There is nothing to stop this happening time and time again. The only way we are going to solve Cambridge's transport infrastructure problems is to have local control over the taxes paid to central government by our residents and businesses."

The Cambridge Transport Commission claims that, "if Britain had a less centralised system of public finance, it would be possible for Cambridgeshire to take advantage of the city and county's economic success by using the product of a growing tax base to fund infrastructure investments.

"The Government's own figures show the East of England has the lowest level of public expenditure per head of any region in the United Kingdom and also the lowest per capita level of transport spending," it said.

Mr Howarth added: "The whole problem is caused by central government and can only be solved by a massive decentralisation of power so that local authorities can solve their local problems with money generated locally."

What would you like to do next?