United Kingdom/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

In addition to the UK Government (for England), the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly can enact their own primary legislation and raise taxes for their own countries. This can include culture.

The National Assembly of Wales can only introduce secondary legislation, covering areas including culture, environment, housing, tourism and agriculture. It has no powers to alter income tax, but it does allocate the funds made available to Wales from the Treasury of the UK. Wales remains within the framework of the United Kingdom, and laws passed in Parliament in Westminster still apply to Wales.

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are direct dependencies of the Crown with their own legislative and taxation systems.

Local authorities are empowered in all four countries in the UK to support culture. Such powers are discretionary rather than mandatory except in the case of library provision, which is statutory. The Local Government Act 1948 enabled local authorities to spend, at their discretion, up to the product of a 6d (equivalent to 2.5p) local rate on entertainment and the arts. The Local Government Act 1972 (1973 for Scotland) removed the upper limit of spending. Synergies between central government cultural priorities and local government actions are encouraged through ministerial guidelines. All local authorities are encouraged to develop culture and leisure strategies.


Chapter published: 15-04-2011


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