Goldsmith hits out at Labour pledge
Mayor hopeful says spending will force tax hike
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