Council tax in London is set to rise by an average of 8p a week from April next year, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced.
Khan said the move was necessary in order to maintain police officer numbers in London after the government announced that the Met’s funding would be £17.4m lower than in 2015-16.
“Nothing is more important to me than keeping Londoners safe – and that means maintaining the strategic target of 32,000 police officers across London,” said Khan.
“The Government has made it clear that they expect us to increase council tax by 8p a week and, reluctantly, I am left with no choice but to do so in order to protect our city from the threats that we face.
“I made a manifesto commitment to keep council tax as low as possible without risking Londoners’ safety – and I’m clear that failing to increase the police precept by 8p a week from next April would put Londoners’ safety at risk.
“I am determined to defend the strategic target of having 32,000 officers across London, but it will get increasingly difficult to defend police numbers in the face of such significant Government cuts and the previous Mayors reckless decision to cut the police precept last year.”
But Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell told the Evening Standard: “It’s absurd that the mayor could attempt to blame his predecessor for his own inability to balance the books.
“Boris was able to reduce council tax over his eight years – a move supported by Sadiq’s Labour colleagues – whilst maintaining police numbers.