Sadiq Khan splurging £33m a year on “ridiculous” free travel for the flatmates of TfL staff

 
Mark Sands
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London mayor Sadiq Khan was elected in May, defeating then Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith (Source: Getty)

A perk for the flatmates of Transport for London employees is costing London taxpayers more than £33m a year in lost revenue, according to new figures.

A new analysis by London Assembly Tories has called on mayor Sadiq Khan to scrap the “ridiculous” benefit, currently available to anyone sharing a residence with a TfL worker.

Instead, the capital's Tories say that Khan could offer free travel to firefighters for just £19.8m over four years, saving Londoners £113.4m over the same period.

Read More: A freeze on the cost of London's travelcards would cost £132m a year

London Conservatives transport spokesman Keith Prince said: "It seems ludicrous that the taxpayer has to foot a bill of over £33million a year just so TfL staff can hand out free travelcards to their mates.

"It would be hard enough to justify this perk under normal circumstances, but at a time when the Mayor is seeking to save more than £640million from within TfL because of his disastrous fares freeze it really takes the biscuit.

"The mayor needs to scrap this ridiculous and unnecessary perk immediately. By doing so he could save TfL and the taxpayer millions in vital revenue and still have money left over to provide our firefighters with a valuable thank you for their work."

The London Tories calculated the total on the basis of offering half of those currently using nominee passes a zone 1-3 travelcard, with the reduced total accounting for the number that would not use the services if they were not free.

Read More: How will the rail fare shake-up affect you?

Khan is already reviewing free travel for nominees of staff earning more than £100,000 a year, and City Hall disputes the Conservatives' figures, claiming that TfL would gain additiona revenues of just £5m a year if all such passes were withdrawn.

It comes after the London Conservatives also proposed that savings from nominee passes could be used to pay for a cut in Londoners' council tax bills.

A spokesman for Khan said: "Keith Prince’s figures simply aren’t correct. He should act more responsibly, rather than making misleading promises to Londoners that aren’t deliverable."

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