New London car tax changes to have ‘massive impact’ on drivers – Sadiq Khan ‘at his worst’

New London car tax changes to have ‘massive impact’ on drivers – Sadiq Khan ‘at his worst’

04/16/2021

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Sadiq Khan announced his proposals for a new £3.50 daily charge to enter outer London boroughs late last year. The Mayor has threatened the fee if the Government does not allow Transport for London (TfL) to keep £500million paid by Londoners each year in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).

However, Gareth Johnson, Conservative MP for Dartford has warned Express.co.uk the updates show Mr Khan “at his worst”.

He said small businesses “would be hit with a loss” and warned drivers living outside the capital will be charged for just “crossing the border”.

Mr Johnson told Express.co.uk: “This proposal from the Mayor of London would have a massive impact on the whole of the south-east.

“Small businesses in Outer London would be hit with a loss of revenue just as things start to pick up for them.

“People living outside of London would have to pay this tax just for crossing the border with London.

“It’s hard to think of a more punishing form of taxation. This is Sadiq Khan at his worst.”

When announcing the proposals last year, Mr Khan said TfL would need to consider “other options” to address the “unfairness” if ministers were not prepared to offer more money.

He claimed the money generated by the “modest charge” would be reinvested back into London’s transport network.

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It is expected drivers of higher polluting models could pay increased costs with Mr Johnson warning this could be up to £5.50 per day.

However, Mr Khan has also claimed the charge could help manage congestion levels as the number of cars entering the city could be reduced.

The updates are likely to encourage more drivers to use sustainable modes of transport in a bid to avoid the charges.

Before the pandemic, around 1.3million drivers travelled into the city from outside London on weekdays.

But, Mr Johnson continued to attack the plans in the House of Commons, urging fellow members to back his Bill aiming to prevent the charge from being introduced.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnoisn added: the charge would be “divisive punitive and aggressive” on drivers.

He said: “Sadiq Khan is looking at building a literal financial wall between London and its neighbours.

“The proposal would divide communities and set Londoners against all others. It is quite literally a border tax.

He added: “The Mayor of London claims that Transport for London has not had enough in subsidies.

“Even if you accept that argument—which I do not—the proposal for a border tax is completely the wrong approach.

“It is divisive, punitive and aggressive. It is as if the Mayor of London is saying, “Give us more money or look what I can do. I can ruin you. I can hit you financially and make you pay if I don’t get my way.

“That is effectively what he is saying. This proposal sends out the clear message that, far from London being open, as the Mayor claims, it will be very much closed for motorists trying to enter the capital.”

In a previous statement, a spokesperson for the Mayor of London said a full consultation would be conducted before any changes were introduced.

They 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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