I just received a letter from Shaun Bailey. No this is not a personal Xmas card from the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor because I think everyone in the street received a copy. It’s a note about the current Mayor’s proposals to raise the Council Tax Precept that all Londoners pay to fund his operations. This is some of what the note says:
The Mayor of London levies a tax called the Mayoral Precept. Every household in London pays this tax as part of their council tax bill.
This tax is bundled together with your local council tax. And the Mayor’s portion is set to rise by 21.2%.
To stop this tax rise, you must take action. Please visit www.stopkhanstaxhike.com
Sadiq Khan has already raised your mayoral council tax by 20.3% since 2016. But now he’s planning to raise it even further — in order to pay for his waste at TfL.
Over the last four years, he accumulated £9.56 billion in wasteful spending at Transport for London.
£159 million on free travel for friends of TfL staff. £828 million on pension overpayments. £5.25 billion on Crossrail delays.
Now TfL is on its second bailout. And in the second bailout’s settlement letter, Sadiq Khan revealed that he’s planning to pass the cost on to Londoners with a rise in council tax.
That’s not the only way the Mayor is planning to raise taxes. He is proposing to raise as much as £500 million every year by charging anyone who drives into Greater London from outside the metropolis. He has already asked Transport for London (TfL) to look into such a plan which might involve a daily fee of £3.50 – but that could soon be raised once the tax is in place and cameras installed to pick it up.
Mr Khan argues that public transport users subsidise road maintenance in the capital as some of that expenditure comes from public transport fares. But bus users should certainly contribute to road maintenance surely?
In addition he is ignoring the fact that technically most of London’s roads are maintained by local boroughs. In fact he is simplifying the issues of where the money comes from because much of it comes from central Government.
The impact on outer London boroughs, and those who live in the wider South-East, of such a tax could be devastating. There are three groups of people who would be badly affected: 1) Those who drive into London for employment (not many do so to central London, but those who work in the outer London boroughs often do so); 2) those who drive into outer London Tube or Rail stations to park as part of their commute (“rail heading” as it is called); and 3) those who drive into outer London “town” centres such as Orpington and Bromley for shopping. Many service providers to businesses in London also visit from outside such as plumbers, accountants, etc.
Perhaps it is worth pointing out that none of these people will get a vote to decide who is Mayor of London. In effect it is taxation without representation, a good enough cause to start a revolution.
It really is time that central Government takes over the government of London and the management of its finances as Sadiq Khan has made a complete hash of it. Allowing him to tax those who live outside London but just want to visit it will cause a mass exodus of businesses and people from London. It will also be the final nail in the coffin of many High Street retail businesses in London.
The Mayor of London has already introduced the LEZ, ULEZ and central Congestion Charge (a.k.a. tax) which have been primarily driven by the Mayor’s desire to build an empire based on raising taxes from Londoners rather than reducing congestion or air pollution. The latest proposals are yet another feeble excuse for money grabbing.
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