Gold­smith hits out at Labour pledge

Mayor hope­ful says spend­ing will force tax hike

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

TORY may­oral can­di­date Zac Gold­smith has hit out at Labour op­po­nent Sadiq Khan’s spend­ing pledges, which he says will cause Hilling­don res­i­dents to face a £1,300 coun­cil tax hike.

Rich­mond Park con­stituency MP Mr Gold­smith’s team an­a­lysed Mr Khan’s pledges and be­lieve he would have to more than dou­ble may­oral coun­cil tax to pay for his prom­ises – with the typ­i­cal band D Lon­don house­hold pay­ing £1,300 more over four years.

But the Labour can­di­date has hit back at Mr Gold­smith, la­belling the claims as part of his ‘des­per­ately neg­a­tive and di­vi­sive cam­paign’, com­ing after the Tory can­di­date tar­geted leaflets at eth­nic mi­nori­ties.

A Con­ser­va­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Labour may­oral can­di­date’s spend­ing pledges, since he launched his cam­paign last May, has re­vealed more than £3.5 bil­lion in un­funded spend­ing com­mit­ments over the next may­oral term.

Adding more than £3.5bn in spend­ing com­mit­ments to the mayor’s bal­ance sheet would re­quire a coun­cil tax hike for ev­ery Hilling­don house­hold, mean­ing over four years:

5,720 band B house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £1,010 more.

23,410 band C house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £1,154 more,

45,160 band D house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £1,299 more.

18,250 band E house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £1,587 more.

9,680 band F house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £1,876 more.

4,970 band G house­holds in Hilling­don will each pay £2,165 more.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Gold­smith, Mr Khan re­cently told re­porters: “How can a se­ri­ous may­oral can­di­date prom­ise to freeze coun­cil tax over the next four years?”

Mr Gold­smith said: “The choice at this elec­tion could not be clearer.

“I’ll freeze may­oral coun­cil tax for res­i­dents of Hilling­don – 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.”

But Labour have dis­missed Mr Gold­smith’s claims as ‘more de­lib­er­ately mis­lead­ing non­sense from the Tories’.

A spokesper­son for the Toot­ing MP said: “Sadiq sup­ported the mayor’s tax cuts in the cur­rent bud­get and has pledged to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to keep coun­cil tax down.

“But this shows how lit­tle Gold­smith un­der­stands about Lon­don govern­ment – the mayor couldn’t put coun­cil tax up by that much even if he or she wanted to.”

In light of the claims, the Labour can­di­date was asked if Hilling­don bor­ough would be worse off.

Mr Khan said: “I have a fully costed plan to freeze trans­port fares for four years, mean­ing peo­ple in Hilling­don will pay the same to travel in 2020 as they do now.

“Zac Gold­smith by con­trast will de­liver a fares bomb­shell – he will raise fares by 17 per cent which means an ad­di­tional cost, if you’re com­mut­ing from Zone 6 to Zone 1, of more than £1,000 ex­tra over the next four years.”

Mr Khan prom­ises to be a ‘mayor for all Lon­don­ers’ after hear­ing the Tory claims, adding: “Zac Gold­smith is run­ning a des­per­ately neg­a­tive and di­vi­sive cam­paign be­cause he has noth­ing pos­i­tive to say about the real is­sues in this cam­paign like Lon­don’s hous­ing cri­sis.”

n DIS­PUTE: Zac Gold­smith (left) and Sadiq Khan

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