What does the Budget mean for Londoners?
Today’s Budget marks a major step towards London getting the control we need to grow and protect the capital’s economy from the uncertainty of Brexit.
Since I was elected as Mayor last May, I’ve been working with London Councils and negotiating with the Treasury and Downing Street to get a deal for London that will give our city more powers and the tools we need to safeguard jobs, wealth and prosperity. With the uncertainty of Brexit, this extra control has never been more important.
The London Devolution Agreement - announced in today’s Budget - shows that we get the best deal for Londoners when we put party politics aside and work closely with the Government.
- Infrastructure: We’ll pilot a new way of funding major infrastructure projects which will allow new projects to be built more quickly and with less reliance on Government funding.
- Devolution of business rates – The Government will explore options for granting London more powers over the administration of business rates within London.
- Criminal justice – New powers could be devolved to ensure the criminal justice system is tailored to the needs of London, helping to cut reoffending and making our city a safer place for everyone.
- Health – London will get more local power over healthcare so that we can ensure services better meet the needs of local communities.
- Cutting congestion – We’ll have new powers to allow the GLA and TfL to reduce congestion in London.
- Skills - We’ll continue to work with the Government on better matching skills provision and careers services with local needs and priorities.
- Employment support – We’ll continue to work with the Government on improving employment services for Londoners. This will include exploring ways we can better support people actively looking for work, as well as those who need different forms of training and support.
Today’s agreement builds on commitments made by the Chancellor in last year’s Autumn Statement, which included a record £3.15bn deal to build 90,000 new and genuinely affordable homes in London and the devolution of adult skills funding and employment services support.
But it wasn’t all good news for London today. I am disappointed that the Government did not use the opportunity to fully fund our police force or pledge their support for Crossrail 2. Nor did the Chancellor use the opportunity to address London’s concerns on schools funding or announce new support for tackling air pollution.
And businesses across the capital still face a clear and present danger to their future as a result of business rates increases - despite the proposals outlined by the Chancellor today.
On all three issues and more, I will continue to fight for Londoners and for a safer city where nobody feels left behind.