The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he is planning an increase in council tax next year as part of his budget proposals in order to provide urgent funding to the police and London’s other vital public services.
This follows the government’s failure to properly fund the Metropolitan Police Service, Transport for London (TfL) and the London Fire Brigade (LFB).
Over recent months, the Met has had to bear even more pressure than usual for its unique national policing activities.
It’s currently dealing with the greatest period of sustained pressure on its resources since the Olympics in 2012, with a large increase in the number of marches, protests and national events taking place in the capital.
But the government has refused to provide the additional funding needed, instead confirming that it will be maintaining the National and International Capital Cities (NICC) grant for 2024/2025 at £185m – a real-terms cut.
Responding to Sadiq Khan’s plan to increase his share of council tax by 8.6% from April, Havering & Redbridge Conservative London Assembly Member Keith Prince AM has said that he must “drop his plans.”
Prince said, “Sadiq Khan must drop his plans to increase his share of council tax next year by 8.6% – almost twice the rate of inflation. Under Sadiq Khan, the Mayor’s share of council tax has increased by 70.8% – from £276.00 in 2017 to £471.40 for an average Band D household next year.
“The Mayor has a £21bn annual budget. In case he hasn’t noticed, we’re living through a cost of living crisis. We have consistently called on Sadiq Khan to freeze his share of council tax during the cost of living crisis.
“If Sadiq Khan managed London’s finances better, he would not need to increase his share of council tax. Sadiq Khan has shown he is incapable of managing London’s finances.
“Transport for London is a financial basket case – £14bn in debt and forced to seek over £6bn in bailouts from taxpayers. The Met is constantly asking for more money but wastes millions on overtime and recruitment because experienced officers are leaving in droves.
“Sadiq Khan is using Londoners as a cash machine. His expansion of ULEZ to outer London is an unfair tax grab on the poorest in our city which is expected to rake in over £300m this year alone.