Boris Johnson has been accused of undermining his successor’s first year in office by restricting the amount of cash available to implement their manifesto commitments.
While much of City Hall’s funding is provided by government grant, some money is raised via a levy on council tax which helps to fund the capital’s policing, transport network and fire service.
Under the mayor’s spending plans, which are currently being considered by the London Assembly, the amount a Band D household will pay towards City Hall’s services in the next year will fall by £19 to £276 per year.
Mr Johnson says the cut and his final budget makes good on his pledge at the last mayoral election to slash his share of council tax by 10%.
However on Tuesday one Assembly Member accused him of backloading cuts so that they affect his successor’s inaugural year in office rather than his own administration.
Liberal Democrat Stephen Knight said Mr Johnson had failed to make cuts “until weeks before you left office” and was “leaving the fallout, the implication of the lost revenue, not to yourself but to your successor to deal with”.
The mayor denied the charge, insisting that his administration had been making “steady” savings and that the larger nature of this year’s reduction was due a cut in the surcharge levied to help fund the 2012 Olympics.
However Mr Knight said that “even leaving out” changes to the Olympic cash, other reductions had been “backend loaded”.
The Assembly Member told Johnson: “The reality is, you are bequeathing your successor a budget that is significantly lower than the budget you had for the past four years.”
He said Londoners will have expected that the mayor who “lived within the means” of the reduced council tax take was the candidate making the pledge, not the one elected four years later.
However Mr Johnson insisted that whoever takes over in May will have enough cash to deliver a “panoply” of policies.