Londoners' council tax is rising as Sadiq Khan pushes up funding for police and fire brigade

 
Emma Haslett
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Londoners are facing increased council tax bills after Sadiq Khan said he had "no choice" but to raise rates after government cuts.

Khan said he planned to increase his share of council tax by 27p a week, the maximum allowed by the government, from April next year.

That will mean a 5.1 per cent rise, £14.20 a year in cash terms, while the amount paid by a Band D taxpayer will rise from £280.02 to £294.22.

In a statement today the mayor said he had been forced into the hike after the government announced plans to cut funding of the Met Police in real-terms earlier this week, forcing it to find "several hundreds of millions" of savings by 2022.

He added after after four terror attacks and the first at Grenfell Tower, he was "inclined" to increase the share of council tax that goes to the police by the equivalent of 23p a week, or about 5.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, the "non-policing precept", the share of council tax received by the mayor which does not go to the Metropolitan Police, will rise by 2.99 per cent, the equivalent of £2.20 a year, or over four per cent.

“I’m sensitive to the fact that council tax is a regressive form of taxation – as it hits those who can least afford to pay it the hardest, so this is certainly not a decision I take lightly," said Khan.

“This year, London has faced dreadful tragedy caused by four terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire. The capital’s population is rising, as is reported crime both in the capital and across the country."

The mayor's draft budget is due to go to consultation this week. It will include a freeze on all TfL fares, measures to tackle pollution and £10m to tackle energy efficiency.