Boris seeks to keep London’s tax in capital

LONDON should have the autonomy to introduce local taxes for major capital projects, an independent panel heard yesterday.

Mayor Boris Johnson launched the London Finance Commission in June to find ways to keep more of London’s tax in the capital.

Yesterday it heard evidence from ex-Mayor Ken Livingstone, who called for the existing 32 boroughs to be replaced with five “wedge-shaped” local areas and attacked the need to spend years lobbying before starting major projects.

Sir Michael Lyons, ex-chairman of the BBC, told the panel that businesses were willing to accept additional rates for projects with clear benefits, such as Crossrail.

Johnson commented: “Investment in London benefits the wider UK economy, helping to drive jobs and growth throughout the country. London’s taxpayers pour billions into the nation’s coffers and cannot simply be a cash cow for the country without a greater say in how this cash is used.”