Keith Prince AM: A slap in the face for so many in capital
After losing Transport for London billions of pounds, Sadiq Khan wants Londoners to pay for his mistakes. The Mayor's decision to increase his share of council tax during a pandemic is a slap in the face for every struggling Londoner.
For years, Sadiq Khan has refused to get a grip of Transport for London's finances. He protected TfL's extortionate perks, bonuses and gold-plated pensions. He failed to deliver Crossrail. On his watch, 21 transport upgrades have been delayed or cancelled. Altogether, Khan's negligence has cost billions of pounds.
As my colleague, Shaun Bailey has shown the Mayor could have avoided this tax rise by fixing TfL's finances. Reforming its pensions could save £100 million. Scrapping its expensive staff perks could save £44 million. And expanding Tube sponsorship could have raised millions of pounds more.
Instead, Khan wants struggling Londoners to cough up the cash. Worse still, the Mayor's expensive press team claimed the 9.5% tax rise was a success because it could have been more. However, Londoners will see through Khan's spin when they look at his track record of hiking up their council tax bill.
After this latest increase, Londoners will be paying nearly £90 more for Khan's City Hall. That's a 31% increase compared to Boris Johnson's administration - which cut Londoners' tax bill.
Despite promising to keep our city's taxes "as low as possible", Khan has proven to be London's most expensive Mayor ever. Londoners can't afford to pay for any more of Khan's mistakes.
Article by Keith Prince AM first published in the Ilford Recorder.