City Hall Tories unveil plan to stop Sadiq Khan’s council tax hike
Today the GLA Conservatives unveiled a fully-costed plan to fund London’s concessionary fares, create a £50 million recovery fund, and invest in policing without increasing Londoners’ council tax bill.
City Hall Tories’ plan would save £95.3 million by reforming Transport for London and cutting the Mayor’s waste – instead of the Mayor’s plan to increase his council tax share by 9.5%.
The plan was tabled today as an amendment to the Mayor’s draft budget by London Assembly Member Susan Hall. The amendment instructs the Mayor to make savings by:
Scrapping his £250,000 Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.
Reducing City Hall’s external affairs budget by £1 million, including £250,000 from the mayoral press team.
Withdrawing £5.6 million from the Mayor’s promotional agency London & Partners.
Reforming TfL’s rewards, perks and pensions to save £88.5 million.
The Mayor should act on the TfL Independent Review’s findings to make these savings. The review concluded TfL’s pensions scheme is “outdated and must be reformed” and estimated that modernisation could save up to £100 million a year.
The amendment instructs the Mayor to use these savings to protect concessionary travel in London, including free travel for under 18s and concessionary travel for over 60s, and invest £45.2 million in policing in London, the equivalent of 695 police officers’ salaries.
It also calls for the Mayor to create a new £50 million London Recovery Fund using the Greater London Authority’s Business Rate Reserve. This fund would be used to help the capital’s businesses bounce back and create jobs for Londoners. It would be fifty times the size of the Mayor’s Back to Business Fund.
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: “Londoners can’t afford Sadiq Khan’s council tax hike – that’s why we’ve put forward an alternative budget for London.
“Our plan would fund London’s concessionary fares, invest in policing and create a new £50 million recovery fund, without asking Londoners to pay a single penny more in council tax.
“The Mayor could save nearly £100 million by scrapping his statue-toppling commission, cutting his PR budgets and reforming Transport for London. He doesn’t need to increase council tax.
“Shamefully, Sadiq Khan’s budget is squirrelling away the capital’s business rates instead of investing in our city’s recovery. He should use that money to create a new London Recovery Fund to help businesses bounce back and protect Londoners’ livelihoods.
“As Mayor, it’s Khan’s job to help struggling Londoners and our city’s firms. But, instead of offering them a helping hand, his budget will slap them with a huge tax bill and hoard struggling businesses’ cash.”