Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Londoners hit by council taxes and transport price hikes

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Londoners are being hit by the biggest council tax and transport cost hikes in years amid a livelihood crisis that is already putting enormous pressure on people’s wallets.

According to the draft budget presented on Wednesday, council tax on an average Group D property will rise by £38.55 a year – the maximum allowed by the government.

City Hal said £20 of that for TfL and £15 for the Met would be enough to recruit 500 Police Community Support Officers(PCSOs) and £3.55 to the London Fire Brigade.

Transport for London (TfL) fares will also increase by 5.9% – again the maximum allowed.

Tube and bus fares in London set to rise by nearly 6%, Mayor Sadiq Khan revealed today.

Mr Khan told Latest Page News last week that he wanted to to limit the rise to 4%, but its hands were tied by the terms of a government funding deal.

Suggested bus and tram fares
Currently March 2023 increase
PAYG – Single £1.65 £1.75 6.1%
PAYG – Daily Cap £4.95 £5.25 6.1%
7 Day Bus & Tram Pass £23.30 £24.70 6.0%

Transport for London received another £1.2bn bailout in August 2022 after its revenue collapsed during the year covid Pandemic.

The mayor told Latest Page News the deal with ministers will force him to match a planned 5.9% hike in national rail fares or cut services.

The budget proposal is subject to ratification by the London General Assembly (LGA) and will enter into force on February 23 once it clears this hurdle.

The mayor said he’s been forced to raise council taxes to fund 500 additional PCSOs due to central government deficit.

Zonal – Suggested Daily and Weekly Caps – Rail and Metro

Current increase 2023
Zones Daily Weekly Daily Weekly Daily Weekly
1-2 £7.70 £38.50 £8.10 £40.50 5.2% 5.2%
1-3 £9.00 £45.00 £9.60 £48.00 6.7% 6.7%
1-4 £11.00 £55.00 £11.70 £58.50 6.4% 6.4%
1-5 £13.10 £65.50 £13.90 £69.50 6.1% 6.1%
1-6 £14.10 £70.50 £14.90 £74.50 5.7% 5.7%

Mr Khan said: “The last thing I want to do is raise the council tax at a time when many household budgets are stretched, but the government’s refusal to allocate the funds our city needs means I don’t have a workable one.” Alternative stays Help bridge the gap by increasing council tax by £3.21 a month. This will ensure we can protect and continue to improve our vital frontline public services, including the police, transport and London Fire Brigade. “Fighting violent crime and making our city safer for all remains my top priority. The additional police funding will go directly to deploying an additional 500 police officers to support communities in boroughs across London. This will help us build on the progress we are making in reducing violent crime in London.

“I froze TfL fares for five years from 2016 to make transport more affordable for millions of Londoners. But since the pandemic, my hands have been tied by the strict conditions set by the Government in the recent emergency funding agreement for TfL, which means London fares must be increased by the same amount as national rail fares – 5.9 per cent . “This is a challenging time for our city, with a government that is not fully funding our public services, but I am committed to making my commitment so we can continue to build a greener, safer and fairer London for all.”

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