London car tax changes down to Sadiq Khan's ‘mismanagement’ – Tories plan to scrap charge

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London car tax changes down to Sadiq Khan's ‘mismanagement’ – Tories plan to scrap charge

Car tax updates could see a £3.50 charge issued to drivers who enter Outer London boroughs. The new charge will apply to the most polluting vehicle

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Car tax updates could see a £3.50 charge issued to drivers who enter Outer London boroughs. The new charge will apply to the most polluting vehicles in the capital to generate more money to use on public transport services.

However, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey has attacked the proposals.

The Tory candidate confirmed he would move to scrap the proposals if he was elected as Mayor next May in a new manifesto pledge.

Mr Bailey said the new charge would ensure London residents would “pick up the bill” for mismanagement of London’s roads.

He claims the Mayor has is guilty of “wasteful spending” after splashing out £9.56billion at TfL during his time in office.5

As part of a TfL spending review conducted by Mr Bailey last year, he warned the failure to deliver Crossrail on time has cost £5.2billion while an overpayment of pensions cost £828million over four years.

READ MORE: London car tax changes are ‘focused on making money’

He told Express.co.uk: “The reason Sadiq Khan wants to introduce a £3.50 charge is the same reason he hiked the congestion charge: mismanagement.

“Sadiq Khan racked up £9.56 billion of wasteful spending at TfL, forcing the government to bail him out twice last year.

“So now he needs to find new revenue. And instead of coming up with innovative ways to raise money, he’s planning to make Londoners pick up the bill for his mismanagement.”

The Mayor’s Office have refuted the wasteful spending claims saying the TfL pensions scheme has not changed since Mr Khan became Mayor, and that the number of staff on £100,000 contracts has been reduced over his term with the number of senior managers cut by 10 percent.

They add the majority of TfL’s borrowing was incurred under the previous Mayoralty where they say TfL accumulated £7billion worth of debt.

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Mr Khan thinks the charge would help manage congestion in the capital and encourage residents to use more sustainable modes of transport.

However, Mr Khan has threatened to introduce the daily charge only if the Government does not allow TFL to keep £500million paid by Londoner’s in car tax charges.

Mr Khan said if ministers “aren’t prepared to play fair” then he would “consider” other options.

Around 1.3million vehicle tips are made from outside London into the city on weekdays before the pandemic.

The scheme would generate around £4.5million in extra revenue but would come at the expense of road users.

A Mayor of London spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Sadiq has repeatedly urged the Government to allow London to retain the £500m of Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Londoners every year but which is currently spent almost exclusively on maintaining roads outside the capital.

“If Ministers aren’t prepared to play fair, other ways of raising money to overcome the unprecedented financial challenges TfL faces as a result of Covid may be needed.

“This is why Sadiq has asked TfL to investigate the feasibility of a new London Boundary Charge for non-residents which would apply only to vehicles registered outside London which are driven into the capital.

“This could reduce congestion and emissions, whilst encouraging more use of public transport.”

Mr Bailey said he would focus on “London’s recovery” as Mayor instead of introducing new taxes which would affect residents.

He warned launching new charges would send a bad message across the country which could deter people from visiting the capital.

He told Express.co.uk: “Think about the message this sends to the rest of the UK.

“Domestic tourism contributes a huge amount to London’s economy.

“Forcing people to pay to enter London sends the message that the capital is closed.

“London is an ecosystem. We will only thrive if businesses and families can travel to and from the city without facing new taxes.

“So I will scrap Sadiq Khan’s plans for a new £3.50 charge on day one as Mayor, focusing instead on London’s recovery.”



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