Local Commonwealth Games levy

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 1:15 pm, 11th June 2020

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I am tempted to engage the House in a long discussion about local government finance in relation to new clause 2; however, I will try not to go on and on. The hotel levy proposed in new clause 2 has been previously proposed by Members of the House of LordsLord Rooker of Perry Barr and Lord Hunt of Kings Heath—and is supported by not only Birmingham City Council but, to my knowledge, a number of local authorities that have strong experience of hosting large cultural and sporting events.

Without going into too much detail about the terrible impact that austerity policies have had on local government over the past 10 years—I hope that most Members are more than well aware of that—the fact is that we in this country now have a national challenge to figure out how we can properly fund local government. Local authorities are struggling through the coronavirus crisis, having been told by the Government to do whatever it takes to fight the virus, and now the Government are falling short of their commitment to fund local authorities to do whatever it takes. That is the background and the backdrop to the situation in which we find ourselves.