Sadiq Khan has published a proposed budget for the GLA (including TfL) for 2023-24 (see https://www.london.gov.uk/who-we-are/governance-and-spending/spending-money-wisely/mayors-budget ).
This is yet again a budget reliant on central Government bail-outs rather than a budget that keeps expenditure within income. It’s a “spend, spend, spend” socialist budget.
1. This budget again blames central Government for inadequate funding of London’s public services and in particular TfL (see page 4 Paragraph 1) when the budget has not been set so that the GLA operates within its available income. This is financially reckless.
2. The document identifies a new concept of “climate budgeting” so as to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030. This is financially impractical to achieve and asks effectively for even more central Government funding when there is no cost/benefit justification provided. See page 25.
3. The budget proposes a substantial increase in “Strategy and Communications” (see page 33) which is not justified. The Mayor already spends too much on public relations and social media activities a lot of which is in essence political promotion of the Mayor.
4. The budget includes the cost of expansion of the ULEZ to outer London which involves significant capital expenditure (see page 105). It is now budgeted that income from the CC, LEZ and ULEZ taxes will be over one billion pounds in 2023-24 (£1,028 million – see page 74). In effect private motorists and commercial vehicle operators are subsidising public transport losses within TfL. This is unfair and unreasonable. There is no financial justification for expansion of the ULEZ.
5. The Mayor’s attempts to reduce traffic congestion by using taxation in the CC, LEZ and ULEZ schemes has proved to be totally ineffective. Recent media reports confirm that London is now the most congested city in the world. The budget does nothing to reverse this trend as there is no expenditure proposed to improve the roads or traffic flows.
6. In summary, this budget is financially incompetent and continues to support expenditure that is higher than the income that TfL and the GLA will receive. This is not a budget set on sound financial principles but one set based on political prejudices and unrealistic policies.
Please send in your own objections to GLAbudget@london.gov.uk within the next two days.
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