Wednesday 27 January 2021 10:55 am

Sadiq Khan accuses government of imposing ‘new era of austerity at worst possible time’

The Mayor of London has today warned that major cuts are inevitable unless the government adequately funds the capital.

Khan has vowed to build a better city in the aftermath of the pandemic but argues that he is being forced to do so “with one arm tied behind my back”.

Speaking at a Budget Plenary of the London Assembly today, Khan assured Londoners that he is doing everything in his power to support its virus recovery and fight against further government cuts.

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Khan said: “As Mayor, I’ll continue to stand up to ministers for punishing Londoners for doing the right thing during this pandemic and work towards that better, greener, more equal future for our city that we all want and desire.

“I’m convinced that, if we take the right decisions now, it’s possible for London to be a fairer, stronger and more prosperous place after this pandemic than it was before.”

Financial package ‘urgently needed’

Last year, the mayor revealed that the Greater London Authority Group is forecast to lose £493m in council tax and business rates income over the next two years.

Khan has encouraged the government to urgently come forward with a significant financial package.

He claims that public services will otherwise be damaged and London’s ability to drive a much-needed economic recovery will be hampered.

His draft budget for 2021-22 sets out how the GLA Group will need to make £325m of savings in the next financial year based on the current worst-case estimate.

The new era of austerity has prompted the mayor to propose an increase in his share of council tax by an average of £2.63 a month from April.

Khan proposes this 9.5 per cent increase will help pay for policing, public transport concession and London Fire Brigade services.

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