Sadiq Khan attacked over devastating ‘border tax’ plan which would 'destroy livelihoods’

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Sadiq Khan attacked over devastating ‘border tax’ plan which would 'destroy livelihoods’

Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, issued the warning in a letter to the Labour leader of Harlow Council Mark Ingall. The Tory MP calle

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Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, issued the warning in a letter to the Labour leader of Harlow Council Mark Ingall. The Tory MP called on him to “urgently lobby” Mr Khan over his plan to charge motorists £5.50 for entering Greater London.

The London mayor is looking at the Greater London Boundary Charge in a bid to salvage Transport for London’s finances, which have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

But the move would affect an estimated 1.3 million drivers a day from counties such as Surrey, Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Mr Halfon warned motorists driving into London for work would face a bill of £1,000 a year under the plan.

He said: “Hundreds of hard-working Harlow residents commute into London every day in vans and by car.

“The Labour mayor is proposing to clobber these workers with an extra £1,000 a year bill in the form of a ‘border tax’ just to go to work.”

He added: “This would absolutely destroy the livelihoods of so many residents at a time when we should be doing everything possible to support them.

“The taxpayer has already bailed TfL out twice to the value of over £3.4 billion and now they are being asked to pay even more.

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Reigate MP Crispin Blunt told the Telegraph: “This is plainly nothing but a tax to rescue the desperate fiscal situation the current mayor finds himself in.

“It will hurt businesses in outer London and have unfair impacts on many, for example, parents of a child in school just the wrong side of the Greater London Authority boundary, including a number of my constituents.”

Writing in the Evening Standard, Tory MP Paul Scully, minister for London, said: “Sadiq’s new land border with the Home Counties – his Checkpoint Chigwell – is not the answer. He should put away the map table and go back to the drawing board.”

The border into Greater London roughly follows the line of the M25.

A spokesperson for the London mayor said: “The mayor has repeatedly urged the Government to allow London to retain the £500m of Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Londoners every year but which is currently spent almost exclusively on maintaining roads outside the capital.

“If the Government do not agree, other ways of raising money to overcome the unprecedented financial challenges TfL faces as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may be needed.

“A Greater London Boundary Charge for non-residents could reduce congestion and emissions whilst encouraging more use of public transport.

“Revenues could also provide funding for investment in London’s transport network.

“Subject to the findings of TfL’s feasibility study, already underway, any proposals developed as a result would be subject to a full public consultation where the public – including non-Londoners – would be able to have their say on any potential proposals.”



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