Budget 2021: Sadiq Khan calls for funding guarantees for new police officers
Sadiq Khan has called for Wednesday’s Budget to include specific support for London’s boroughs and a guarantee the capital will see funding for 6,000 new police officers.
The mayor of London also asked the chancellor in a letter seen by City A.M. to extend a range of Covid support schemes – including the furlough scheme, VAT cut for retail and hospitality and business rates holiday – until summer.
Khan argued that London needed targeted support in Wednesday’s Budget, writing that “there can be no national recovery from the national crisis unless the government provides the necessary investment to support London’s businesses, organisations and people”.
This includes calls for a funding injection to hire 6,000 new Metropolitan Police officers as a part of Boris Johnson’s 2019 election promise for 20,000 new officers in England.
The cost for 6,000 new police officers would run into the hundreds of millions of pounds in their first year of employment.
“The government’s roadmap correctly recognises the concerning intersection of a series of issues arising from the pandemic that affect London particularly acutely, including rising unemployment and increasing levels of mental health need,” Khan wrote.
“It is vital that investment is made in tackling these problems as these issues are also closely linked to offending and victimisation.”
Sunak’s Budget on Wednesday is expected to include a £30bn package to extend current Covid support schemes until June when the UK expects to lift most, if not all, restrictions.
He is also expected to outline a series of tax rises, including a mooted increase in corporation tax from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.
Responding to the letter, a Treasury spokesperson said: “We’ve invested more than £280bn throughout the pandemic to protect millions of jobs and businesses – and extended the furlough scheme through to April so that people have certainty that help is in place.
‘’At the Budget we’ll outline the next stages of our Plan for Jobs to support businesses and families across the UK. That has been our priority throughout the past year and it will be the priority for the year to come.”