Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey and Sadiq Khan have today clashed over claims that the incumbent London mayor would raise taxes by £4.68bn over the next three years if re-elected.
Bailey said today that Khan’s plans would mean households would have to pay £1,339 more in tax, however this figure comes mostly from a proposed tax that has not been approved and would not be paid by Londoners.
Khan’s team said Bailey’s figures were “ludicrous”, had “no basis in reality” and that they were “starting to feel for the Tory candidate” with just weeks to go before polling day.
More than 70 per cent of the £4.68bn figure comes from a claim by Bailey that Khan will bring in a £5.50 levy for anyone not from the capital when they drive into Greater London.
Labour pointed out that this tax was only being discussed and in any case would not be paid for by Londoners.
The rest of the figure comes from an assumption that Khan will again raise council tax by 31 per cent, as he did in his first term, through the cost of a recent increase in the Congestion Charge to £15 and the planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) in October.
Speaking to City A.M. today, Bailey said: “Sadiq Khan has wasted so much money as mayor of London – that’s probably been his chief sin. We would make those savings.”
A spokesperson for London Labour quickly hit back at Bailey’s tax bombshell claims.
“These ridiculous claims are so completely ludicrous and lacking in any basis in the real world that we are beginning to feel sorry for the Tory candidate,” they said.
“His campaign has started to look more like a comedy sketch than a real campaign for London mayor. For the avoidance of all doubt – these are invented numbers, with no foundation in the real world and Londoners should just completely ignore them.”
Bailey will face off against incumbent Khan, Green Party candidate Sian Berry and Lib Dem candidate Luisa Porrit in the 6 May mayor of London election.
A new poll for ITV yesterday showed Khan leading Bailey by 41 per cent to 28 per cent.
This is the first poll in more than a year that has Khan with a lead of less than 20 points over the Conservative candidate.