London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans to raise council tax by around £20 a year as the Government refuses to “properly fund” Transport for London (TfL) operations.
Khan saidlast night he has been “forced down this route” due to a lack of a long-term agreement with the Government, with a three-year tax hike set to raise £172m annually for the city.
The Department for Transport has previously insisted it has “repeatedly shown its commitment” to supporting TfL during the pandemic by providing “more than £4bn in emergency funding”.
Despite these measures, the Labour mayor said a “managed decline” of TfL will still be required, involving “significant cuts” to bus and Tube services.
Khan reiterated his call for the Government to “give back the £500m Londoners pay every year in Vehicle Excise Duty”, which is “currently used almost entirely to maintain roads outside London”.
He added that the pandemic is the “sole cause” of TfL’s financial problems.
Meanwhile, the Mayor plans to increase the age of eligibility for free travel using the 60+ pass by 10 per cent each year over the next 12 years.
He is also proposing to scrap cheaper off-peak fares for Tube journeys between Zone 1 and Heathrow, and raise the cost of an Oyster card deposit from £5 to £7.
A previous funding agreement between the Government and TfL was due to expire on Saturday , but was extended until tomorrow