Sadiq Khan urged to rethink his £40 council tax hike plan

Sadiq Khan is facing calls to respond to the cost-of-living crisis by rethinking plans to increase his share of council tax bills by almost £40 a year. Mr Khan has

indicated that a £38.55 rise in his share of average bills could be imposed from April, increasing the amount that goes to City Hall by 9.7 per cent, a record amount since he

became mayor, ands taking his total demand at Band D to £434. Confirmation of the precise amount is expected this week. The mayor, who oversees £20bn of public spending each

year, says there will be a long-term impact on the Met police and London fire brigade if he decides not to increase their budgets by the full amount allowed by the

Government. But a report from the London Assembly’s budget committee raised a number of “concerns”, including the fact that reserves have almost trebled in the last five

years and will have reached £1.5bn by March. It said the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime had abandoned for 2023/24 the target of aiming to recruit 6,000 additional

police officers and may have to hand back £20m to the Home Office due to not hiring enough officers this year. A pay increase of above five per cent that is being sought by

firefighters nationally could mean the London fire brigade being unable to fill all its vacancies, forcing it to rely on overtime. The report called for greater clarity on

the cost of expanding the ultra-low emission zone to the Greater London boundary in August, and more details on projected income from the £12.50 –a-day levy and the fines for

non-compliance.