It is shocking that the Conservative Mayoral Candidate is circulating letters to residents which have been designed to look like official documents. This is deeply irresponsible and will cause unnecessary distress to residents. They are currently being distributed around Kingston and Richmond, and all over London.
I want to thank Labour members* who have fact checked the ‘letter’ which, not surprisingly, aims to hide the Tories’ responsibility for many of London’s issues.
1) Shaun Bailey claims Transport for London (TfL) has accumulated £9.56billion in “wasteful” spending. In reality, Sadiq Khan has cut the deficit at TfL by over £1billion per annum. A deficit he inherited from Boris Johnson as well as billions in debt from failed projects such as the garden bridge. This was achieved despite Johnson signing away the government subsidy to TfL on his way out costing TFL hundreds of millions per year.
2) Shaun Bailey claims that Sadiq Khan wants to increase council tax. However, unlike private rail companies, TfL have not been offered bailouts from the government and worse still, the Tories have demanded that TfL impose increases across the board to cover the Tories’ poor handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
3) Conservative Secretary for Transport Grant Shapps wrote to Sadiq Khan outlining his expectation that Londoners should pay more through a supplement to their council tax. Despite this, Shaun Bailey claims it is Sadiq Khans’ plan and not his own government’s.
4) The letter states £828m on pension overpayments but provides no information about this nor does the website. TfL staff currently enjoy an inferior pension to MPs and the Conservative government has not made any attempts to change their own pension provision. Nor has Shaun Bailey made any requests for this.
5) The letter indicates that Sadiq Khan is responsible for the £5.25billion in ‘delays’ from crossrail. Crossrail is however managed by both the Department for Transport (DfT) and Crossrail Limited as well as TfL. Both of whom are separate to TfL. Conservative minister Grant Shapps is currently the Secretary of state for Transport and oversees this. He is also responsible for the flawed rollout of LTN’s without providing appropriate guidance.
The Tories must withdraw the material and apologise.
*Thanks to Lewisham West & Penge, Bromley and Orpington Labour Parties for their research on this.