The Lyons Inquiry into local government funding, which is expected to propose the introduction of a bed tax, will reportedly not be published until next year.
It was expected that Sir Michael Lyons’ report would be published in December, shortly after it was delivered to ministers.
But according to a report in today’s Times, the report will go to Chancellor Gordon Brown and local government minister Ruth Kelly on 21 December, but will not be made available until February.
The recommendations will inform next summer’s Comprehensive Spending Review but Brown and Tony Blair may be reluctant to publish the Government’s response before the local election campaign, which starts in April, according to experts.
Tony Travers, a local government expert at the London School of Economics, told The Times: “The later the Lyons report is published the easier it will be for ministers to delay decisions even about modest reforms.”
Lord Bruce-Lockhart, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), hit out at reports of a delay.
“Sir Michael has told the LGA [that] he would submit this before Christmas and we expected it to be published immediately,” he said. “There is no possible reason for further delay.”
A spokeswoman for the Lyons Inquiry said: “We are still on course to deliver to ministers in December, but no decision has been made on when it is published.”
By Daniel Thomas
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