A clear majority of the public believe London gets more than its fair share of Government spending according to a new survey conducted by YouGov, suggesting ministers may find it easy to resist Mayor Sadiq Khan’s push to secure more money for the capital.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows the capital generates around £26bn more in tax than is spent within it, with the surplus being used to fund services and schemes across the rest of the country.
This gap has been highlighted by successive mayors, including by Sadiq Khan who has complained that Transport for London received “just £20m” in roads funding last year – compared to almost £270m in the South West of England – despite London’s motorists generating almost £500m in Vehicle Excise Duty.
A lack of funds has forced TfL to cut proactive roadworks and led to warnings that some roads and bridges could ultimately be forced to close.
As well as calling for more roads funding, Mr Khan has regularly urged ministers to provide more money to build homes, clean up the capital’s air and maintain Met officer numbers, but YouGov’s findings suggest ministers could gain greater popularity by instead boosting investment in other parts of the UK.
Across the country as a whole, 60% of people believe the capital gets more than its fair share of public spending, a number which rises to 70% in Scotland and 73% in Wales.
In England 58% believe this is true, a body of opinion regional mayors are likely to find helpful when pushing for more government spending in their own areas instead of in London.
But the poll also contains some good news for the Mayor and his team.
While just over a third (35%) of Londoners believe the city gets its fair share, almost a fifth (18%) believe the opposite is true – that’s a ready made audience for his policy of talking-up government cuts and blaming them for any shortfall between his 2016 election promises and his in-office delivery.