Sadiq Khan’s budget documents suggest he has £50m of unallocated council tax receipts which he could use to help bolster the Met’s budget, with millions more potentially available in future years.
Council tax bills are set to rise after the Government said local mayors and police and crime commissioners would need to raise extra money for their forces locally.
The policy has been criticised by the Mayor who has accused ministers of “smoke and mirrors” in announcing an increase in budgets without providing the funding.
On Tuesday Mr Khan said: “I have been left with no choice but to propose to increase council tax by the new maximum the Government allows – taking the difficult decisions necessary to keep Londoners safe.
“Not only is this a regressive form of taxation which hits those who can least afford to pay it the hardest, it is still not enough to protect the frontline of policing.
“Ministers are shirking their responsibility to keep this country safe by adequately funding our police service and are leaving it to taxpayers here in London to help to bridge the gap.”
However City Hall’s draft budget for the coming financial year show a forecasted £49m of council tax receipts which has yet to be allocated. With the Met having no outstanding savings to find this year, allocating the money to the force would provide it with extra money.
The budget also shows that a 1.99% increase in City Hall’s share of the council tax in each of the next three years could cover much of the savings yet to be identified:
|Savings to be identified||0.0||72.5||128.9||183.3|
|Income to be allocated by the Mayor||49.0||74.0||99.7||127.7|
|Source: GLA consultation budget page 24.|
Gareth Bacon, leader of the Conservatives on the London Assembly, said the unallocated funds were “the latest example of Sadiq Khan failing to get his house in order and then turning to the government to ask for more cash.”
He added: “Additional funding for the Met is always welcome but the Mayor must make the most of what he already has. Just last week it emerged he is yet to allocate almost £50million of funding from his latest tax increase.
“The constant finger-pointing at the government is simply an attempt to distract from his own clear inadequacies.”