Zac Goldsmith today claimed that City Hall’s share of council tax “would double” if Londoners elect Sadiq Khan as mayor.
The Tory mayoral hopeful says his rival’s policy commitments would cost “over £3 billion” over the next four years, pushing up council tax bills “by at least £1,300 more” over the same period.
Asked recently by politcs.co.uk whether he would replicate his pledge to freeze fares for the full mayoral term and rule-out a rise in council tax, Mr Khan replied “How can a serious mayoral candidate promise to freeze council tax over the next four years?”
Goldsmith says this response, along with the absence of a manifesto pledge to freeze council tax, proves bills would rise under a Khan mayoralty.
Launching a new campaign poster, Mr Goldsmith said: “The choice at this election could not be clearer: I’ll freeze mayoral council tax while Khan’s economic chaos would need a £1,300 council tax hike for the average London household.
“London needs a Mayor who can get the best deal with the Government to keep the economy, and the family finances, secure. A four year Khan-Corbyn experiment in City Hall would put that all at risk.’
However a spokesperson for Khan said his rival was peddling “deliberately misleading nonsense”.
“Sadiq supported the Mayor’s tax cuts in the current budget and has pledged to do everything possible to keep Council Tax down.”
Khan’s spokesperson highlighted that no council or devolved body can raise council tax by more than 2% without holding a local referendum and added: “This shows how little Zac Goldsmith understands about London government – the Mayor couldn’t put Council Tax up by that much even if he or she wanted to.
“Goldsmith’s team should get him an ‘Idiot’s Guide’ to City Hall.”
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.