Budget 2021: Mayor says government is ‘taking London for granted’

The Mayor of London has warned that the government’s Budget risks levelling down the capital, with insufficient funding and support for London to recover from the pandemic.

He expressed particular concern that, while Rishi Sunak confirmed £7bn to level up urban transport in cities around England, there was no new funding announced for Transport for London (TfL).

Sadiq Khan warned that with the current TfL funding settlement from government expiring on December 11, the capital is approaching its busiest period with uncertainty.

London contributed a net £38.8bn to the Treasury in the last full financial year prior to the pandemic, but it is also one of the most unequal regions in the UK and some of the highest poverty rates in the country.

The Mayor argued that the Budget and Spending Review also fails to provide the money needed to keep Londoners safe, deliver affordable housing, tackle poor air quality and meet net zero ambitions.

white and red train beside building at daytime

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘This is a disappointing Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review that takes the capital for granted and fails to deliver the support and investment London, and the rest of the country, desperately needs to recover from the pandemic.  Without a London recovery, there will be no national economic recovery.

‘The Government’s plans to reduce inequality across the UK are welcome – but that must include London. London drives economic prosperity across the country and if the capital is to support the national recovery, the Government must provide the investment it requires. It is particularly disappointing the Chancellor has chosen to not allocate any future funding to Transport for London. London’s transport network supports jobs, and manufacturing across the country and is key to ensuring a green recovery.

‘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. The Government itself has said that London should not be left behind when it comes to levelling-up the country – yet today’s announcements fail to back that up. I remain ready to work with Government to get a fair deal for Londoners that will support the national recovery from this pandemic.’

In related news, the chief executive of Locality welcomed the Chancellor’s spending announcements in the Budget but argued that the speech shows the government is sticking to its centralised approach to levelling up.

Photo by Tomas Anton Escobar


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