BRITAIN'S major cities should have tax-raising and borrowing powers which, if devolved from Whitehall, could boost the national economy by more than £200 billion and create an extra 1.3 million jobs by 2030, new research claims.

Senior politicians, including many council leaders from north and south of the border, will today attend a devolution summit in Glasgow to launch a Freedom Charter.

This will set out the basic principles of how powers can be devolved from national parliaments to drive prosperity, increase equality and strengthen democracy in what is being dubbed a modern-day Magna Carta in the 800th anniversary year of the historic document.

At the summit, Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, will propose the creation of a Glasgow-Edinburgh powerhouse city region to compete against London and other English cities.

Keith Brown, the Scottish Government's Cities Secretary, will call for a Cities Convention to bring policymakers together to enable greater understanding, improved policy and more empowerment for local communities.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will praise the "inspirational" regeneration of Glasgow and call for "radical empowerment" of Britain's cities and regions.

Glasgow is the first Scottish city to be part of the UK Government's City Deal programme to boost economic growth. Coalition sources have made clear work is "ongoing" to do the same for Aberdeen and Inverness.

To coincide with the summit, new research from the independent think-tank ResPublica calls for "bottom-up devolution", which would include:

*tax-raising powers to enable city regions, so-called "Core Cities", to grow, attract jobs and inward investment;

*borrowing powers to enable them to borrow on the Housing Revenue Account subject to local debt deals;

*retention of property taxes, council taxes as well as a proportion of income tax;

*control of business rates within an equalisation mechanism;

*the creation of a Devolution Agency to oversee devolution across the whole of the UK and

*a Metro Mayor or direct accountability through elected City Region Cabinets.

"It's time to change the old 'one size fits all' model of centralised public services delivering the same thing to everybody regardless of need; it simply isn't working for the Core Cities," said Philip Blond, Director of ResPublica, who wrote the report.

"They deserve a better, more integrated system, free of all external ring-fencing. If we do this correctly the benefits to the public purse will be in the billions of pounds."

The think-tank estimated that with enhanced devolved powers the UK's core cities could generate an extra £222bn and 1.3 million jobs by 2030.

ResPublica set out a timetable for greater devolution, beginning with the creation of a Devolution Agency within 100 days of the General Election, devolving funds for transport, housing and employment within the first year, establishing by 2016 a pilot city region where income tax and corporation tax variation would be devolved and extending this to all city regions by 2020.

Today's summit will call for more control over taxes; not to raise levels but to improve efficiency and make sure that money raised locally is spent locally by people who know their area.

It will also say that cities who want this, and meet set criteria, should be able to retain some property taxes and a percentage of income tax, to redesign everything from creating jobs to improving housing.

Sir Richard Leese, Core Cities Chairman and Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "It is only by devolving powers to cities and their regions that the UK can succeed on a global stage.

"What is good enough for the UK's nations should be good enough for our cities. We are proposing a revolutionary shift in power from our remote parliaments to local people who know their places best," he added.

Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, argued: "A centralising, power-grabbing Scottish Government is as much a barrier to achieving optimal economic growth and tackling inequality as an over-bearing Whitehall."

Merely transferring powers between one parliament and another did not advance the cities' agenda.

He added: "All political parties in Scotland should back this Charter and urgently commit to devolving many existing and new Smith Commission powers to Scotland's major cities and communities, starting with Glasgow, which is best placed to benefit."

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