Changes to City Hall’s expenses rules mean staff and politicians will no longer be able to claim the full cost of taxi journeys on expenses.
Revisions agreed by the Mayor and London Assembly will cap claims for taxis at “the equivalent cost on an Oyster card, as only the lowest fare should be claimable.”
Claimants will also need to provide a detailed explanation for taking a taxi instead of public transport before their expenses claim is processed.
In 2007 former Assembly Member Brian Coleman spent £10,277.89 on taxis while in 2008 Mayor Boris Johnson spent £99 on a return cab trip between City Hall and Elephant & Castle, despite cheaper public transport options being available.
Under the new rules the Mayor’s claim would be capped at £2.70, the cost of a return Oyster PAYG bus journey.
Expenses claims by unpaid advisors will now be reported “in public to an appropriate Committee of the Assembly” with those for Assembly Members, the Mayor and paid Mayoral appointees.
Changes have also been agreed to relax a ban on staying at hotels rated above 3 stars.
City Hall says a requirement for advance written permission to deviate from this rule is “increasingly unworkable and impractical, as often there is a requirement to stay in a particular hotel where a conference is being held.”
Therefore the rule is to be relaxed but a new requirement “to produce 3 quotes via the internet” introduced where a higher rated hotel is used.