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Sadiq Khan to hike council tax for second time
19 December 2023, 16:22
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans to increase council tax for an average Band D household by £37.26.
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Residents living in Band D properties in London will see their council tax increase by £37.26, which is an extra £3.10 a month.
This means an average Band D household will need to pay £471.40, which is £200 more than when Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London in 2016.
This comes after the Mayor increased his share of council tax by the maximum allowed in January, in order to find the recruitment of 500 additional police community support officers.
In the most recent proposals, Mr Khan said he had 'no viable alternative' after the government refused to increase funding for the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade, and Transport for London.
The government will maintain the National and International Capital Cities (NICC) grant for 2024/2025 which is £185 million, which is a real-term cut.
In a statement, the Mayor's Office said that the Met has dealt with "huge additional pressure over recent months due to its national policing responsibilities, including an increase in significant protests in London, which is having a wider impact on policing the capital."
Their statement cited the increase in the number of marches, protests, and national events in London.
The Met said the annual funding shortfall to fund the extra policing costs in London is now around £240 million.
Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall said the Mayor was "treating Londoners like walking cash machines."
Mr Khan said: "The last thing I want to do is increase council tax, but against the backdrop of the government’s refusal to provide enough support for London’s essential public services, I have no viable alternative but to use all the levers at my disposal to provide urgent funding from City Hall, particularly for the police."
He added: “The Government has announced that policing in London is set to get just over half the percentage increase in funding compared to the rest of the country.
"How can this be right when the Met has had to undertake a huge amount of national policing activities over recent months without any additional funding from the government? This is putting an enormous strain on an already stretched police service.
"That’s why I’m having to step in with additional funding from City Hall to ensure the police in London can bear down on violent crime, continue to reform and make our city safer.
"We are going through a challenging time in London due to the state of the national economy, the impact of austerity and the cost-of-living crisis.
"But I’m confident that this budget will not only support and improve our public services in our city, but help us to continue building a fairer, greener and safer London for everyone."
The Mayor will publish the full list of budget proposals in the new year.