Local communities will also be able to operate libraries, museums and even deal with low-level anti-social behaviour under “power to the people” plans to be announced on Monday.
The Sunday Telegraph understands that the driving force behind the coalition’s flagship public services white paper will be new moves towards “localism” and away from top-down “Whitehall knows best” approach.
Senior government courses say this will mean devolving powers as far down as possible – to small neighbourhood bodies such as parish councils and their equivalents.
Why don\’t we really do this?
Let\’s devolve everything down to this level: tax rates for example. Yes, we\’d still have a national tax rate to pay for national government but it would be a very low one. 3.76% seems like a nice number. Hey, for the progressives, we could also have a 15% national top rate.
But education budgets, health budgets, the vast amount of stuff that people want but doesn\’t actually require that mmonopoly of violence that we give to the national government (you know, the obvious things that we really need the state as State for, defence, criminal courts etc): let\’s raise the money locally and spend it locally.
Sure, such small units can\’t support a hospital (5,000 to 10,000 people in a council ward or parish is much too small for that) but they can feed the money up as they wish to larger units. Or agree with nearby units etc.
All hopelessly pie in the sky eh?
That is the way Denmark works. Taxation is in the main in the hands of the communes. Many of which are that small, 10,000 people or so. And exactly the people who would oppose this sort of localism are exactly the sort of people who would likely claim that Denmark is a vision of a decent society.
Odd how people won\’t follow through isn\’t it?