Budget 2021: Sadiq Khan slams Rishi Sunak for ‘taking London for granted’ over lack of TfL cash

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Sadiq Khan hit out at the Chancellor over a lack of cash for TfL in the Autumn Budget, and accused Rishi Sunak of “taking London for granted”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan accused the government of “taking the capital for granted” as he hit out at the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget over a lack of cash for the Tube.

The Labour politician has warned the UK’s economic recovery is dependent on investment in the capital, and said the Budget fails to deliver the investment the city “desperately needs”.

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While he stressed levelling down London is not how to achieve levelling up across the UK.

“Without a London recovery, there will be no national economic recovery.

“It is particularly disappointing the Chancellor has chosen to not allocate any future funding to Transport for London (TfL).

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“For every £1 invested on the London Underground, 55p is paid to workforces located outside London, with TfL contracts contributing around £6.4bn to the economy overall.”

Rishi Sunak’s Budget found extra money for ScotlandRishi Sunak’s Budget found extra money for Scotland
Rishi Sunak’s Budget found extra money for Scotland

And he warned that with the current TfL funding settlement from the government expiring on December 11: “The capital is approaching its busiest period with complete uncertainty”.

Mr Khan said London was not able to share in the £7bn announced for transport around the country – and said this put Tube services and road infrastructure at risk.

It comes as TfL faces a difficult financial situation, with the government asking the service to raise a further £500m to £1bn of revenue per year by 2023.

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Speaking in the House of Commons (HoC) yesterday (Wednesday, October 27), the Chancellor outlined the Budget - his economic plan for the country for the next year.

Mr Sunak, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer is in charge of balancing the UK’s books, and detailed to MPs the changes to taxation, investment and spending over the next 12 months.

The MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire, and former hedge fund partner told the HoC he intended to begin to deliver “a new economy post Covid”.

He said: “[This is] the Prime Minister’s economy of higher wages, higher skills, and rising productivity; of strong public services, vibrant communities and safer streets; an economy fit for a new age of optimism.”

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Georgia Gould, Camden Council leader, and chair of London Councils. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty ImagesGeorgia Gould, Camden Council leader, and chair of London Councils. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Georgia Gould, Camden Council leader, and chair of London Councils. Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

But Mr Khan, a former Labour MP for Tooting, south London, hit out at Sunak over a lack of funding for extra police, a climate-led pandemic recovery, replacing 50-year-old Tube trains, upgrading Underground signalling, renewing road networks, and maintaining TfL systems.

Georgia Gould, chair of London Councils, the network of boroughs across the city, urged the government to provide more resources to local services.

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“However, the funding increases aren’t enough to meet the huge challenges we face.

“In particular, there remains great uncertainty over adult social care. We’re also deeply concerned that London is missing out on a fair share of levelling up support.”

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) also yesterday announced the local authorities which had successfully bid for the first tranche of levelling up funding.

Five council areas in London were successful in their funding applications, with Brent, Ealing, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth set to be awarded a total of just under £65m between them.

The Greater London Assembly Conservatives have been contacted for comment.

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