Sadiq calls for new powers to match New York
Sadiq Khan has called for new powers for London to match those given to the Mayor of New York, as he returns from a five-day trip to Montreal, Chicago and New York.
Sadiq met with the Mayor of New York, Bill DeBlasio, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel and the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, to discuss shared agendas including securing economic growth, tackling extremism and terrorism, housing and planning, social integration and skills training.
Across the US, cities have significantly more control over taxes and public services than their counterparts in the UK. New York and Chicago control around half of the funds raised from businesses and residents in their cities, compared to just seven per cent controlled by the Mayor of London and the London Boroughs combined.
New York controls an annual budget of £53 billion ($70 billion), more than three times the size of the £16.3 billion budget controlled by London. New York controls the education, skills, healthcare and social service systems in the city, as well as having the same powers over housing, transport and policing as City Hall in London. In New York, the Mayor administers a number of taxes, including on personal income, property, alcohol, tobacco and stock transfers, compared to just a share of council tax controlled in London.
Following the EU referendum vote, Sadiq Khan is calling for the Government to give London more control over services in the capital, in order to protect Londoners from the economic impact of Brexit. The Mayor is calling on the Government to agree a devolution deal for London, granting the capital more control over skills and training services, national rail train services, tax raising powers, criminal justice and health services.
The Mayor believes that further devolution to London will benefit the whole country, as growth in London creates jobs and opportunities in every region of Great Britain – just as New York’s growth benefits the entire US. While in Montreal, he visited the headquarters of Bombardier, whose factory in Derby is building the trains for the Crossrail Line – creating jobs and growth for local people in the area.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London needs more control over the services that will help improve life in our city, such as housing, skills, air quality, health and crime. I’ve seen first-hand that Mayors in cities like New York, Chicago and Montreal are able to make huge improvements to the lives of the people they represent, because they have more control over services in their city.
“London’s population is the same size as Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how our capital is run. London needs that control so that we can protect jobs and growth and make London a better city to live in for all Londoners. This will benefit people living in every region of Great Britain – because when London succeeds, Britain succeeds.”
In July, the Mayor reconvened the London Finance Commission, tasking them with bringing forward a new, beefed-up set of devolution proposals that will be presented to ministers.