Labour refuse to reconsider Mayor's tax hikes
Today the Labour Group in the London Assembly voted down a Conservative motion calling for Sadiq Khan to rethink his budget to save Londoners money and help businesses bounce back.
The GLA Conservatives' motion called on Khan to rethink his plan to make Londoners pay more by reforming City Hall and Transport for London to make greater savings. It also criticised Khan’s budget for being "vague" and "meaningless" when Londoners want to know how the Mayor plans to spend their money.
Sadiq Khan's proposed budget will increase his share of Londoners council tax bill by nearly 10%, keep the Congestion Charge at £15 for at least another six months, and extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to the North and South Circulars. Alongside his budget, Khan is considering a daily boundary charge up to £5.50 to drive into Greater London.
Earlier today, City Hall Tories' Leader Susan Hall has branded Sadiq Khan's budget a "half-baked" plan which would grant him a "blank cheque". Unlike previous budgets, the Mayor's latest proposal sets spending priorities around vague themes instead of setting out in detail how the money would be used to deliver for London.
Susan Hall AM, Leader of the GLA Conservatives, commented: "Labour showed their true colours in the London Assembly today by rubber-stamping Sadiq Khan's half-baked budget, which will slam struggling Londoners with tax hikes and extra charges.
"London needs a budget which will avoid asking struggling Londoners to pay more and help businesses bounce back. Without significant changes, the Mayor's budget will hammer London's poorest and undermine our recovery.
"How any Assembly Member could accept a budget with such little detail is beyond me. The Labour Group is writing Khan a blank cheque by ignoring his budget's vague and meaningless parts.
"The Mayor still has one month to amend his budget before its final vote. He must reflect on the damage his plan will cause our city and explain his spending plans in detail."
Full GLA Conservative motion:
“This Assembly appreciates the uncertain position of the Greater London Authority’s finances, and notes the Mayor will present his final budget in February.
However, this Assembly has concerns regarding the direction and focus of the Mayor’s draft consolidated budget, including:
That at a time when many people are struggling across our city, the Mayor is continuing to build a legacy of making Londoners pay more.
That the approach based on missions and foundations is not transparent, making it harder for Londoners to know what services might be at risk.
That provisional funding allocations are vague, meaningless and in some cases do not reflect Londoners’ priorities, while distant mission target dates undermine accountability.
That the opportunity to consider significant institutional reform across the GLA Group and its Functional Bodies – including but not limited to Transport for London – has not been taken.
Therefore, this Assembly recommends that the Mayor takes action within the direct powers of the Greater London Authority to address these concerns, before presenting his final draft consolidated budget in February.”