Mayor warns against cuts in the capital

INVESTMENT by the government into London’s infrastructure is crucial to maintaining the city’s competitiveness, according to Mayor Boris Johnson.

Ahead of the emergency Budget, Johnson has urged chancellor George Osborne to avoid slashing spending in the capital on major projects like Crossrail and the tube maintenance.

“I want to remind the government that growth is essential to the health of our public finances. Only by continuing to invest in London and the South East – the engine room of the national economy – will the nation as a whole be able to grow its way out of trouble,” said Johnson.

His comments are part of a new report commissioned by GLA Economics, the Mayor’s financial analysis arm, which found that London receives 14 per cent of spending by the government, while the city generates around 18 per cent of the UK’s output and tax revenues.

The report also argues that investment in infrastructure by the government is key to increasing productivity and output, while public capital spending is lower in London as compared to other global cities.

Johnson said: “The UK cannot afford the cost to the economy if the capital is starved of vital investment in infrastructure projects like Crossrail and the upgrade of the Tube.”

He has written to Osborne ahead of the 22 June budget and threatened strikes by Tube Lines maintenance workers, who are concerned over pay and job security.