World News – GB – TfL bailout row grows as Khan criticizes minister for ‘political games’


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Raising municipal taxes to keep tube and buses running was played down by a minister today as dispute exceeds £ 4 The $ 9 billion bailout sought by Transport for London continues

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the government was « not actively considering » imposing a surcharge to help close the huge gap in TfL’s tariff revenue caused by the pandemic

The acrimony between town hall and the transport department escalated last night when Mayor Sadiq Khan accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of seeking to impose a ‘triple whammy’

Leaks of correspondence between M Khan and M Shapps would have shown that the government is ready to take direct control of TfL unless the mayor agrees to a council tax increase, a further increase in the rate hike above inflation slated for January and a extension of the £ 15 per day congestion charge zone on circular routes north and south to reflect the enlarged limits of very low emission zones, introduced next October The mayor has also been ordered to initiate ‘pension reform and the workplace ”at TfL and abolish free travel for teenagers

Today, M Jenrick, asked by LBC’s Nick Ferrari if a municipal tax precept would be imposed, said: ‘Well we are not actively considering this, but we need to resolve the fact that the mayor has bankrupted TfL and Greater London Authority due to a series of catastrophically bad financial decisions « 

M Khan responded by saying: « Now is not the time for the government to play political games or be vindictive to London – this is far too serious an issue »

TfL received £ 1.6bn in bailouts in May and wants an additional £ 2bn for the remainder of the year, plus £ 2bn 9bn for 2021/22 Negotiations have been extended The TfL pension scheme does is not under TfL’s control and new laws would be needed to change it Unions said today they would be ready to strike if pensions risk being cut

The mayor said the « draconian » proposals would result in the coverage of an additional four million people by an enlarged Zone C, that tariffs would increase by more than the 1% RPI agreed in the first bailout and that the government proposed abolishing free travel for those over 60 He told TfL’s board today that he wrote to the prime minister last Friday « to make sure he was aware of the urgency of the situation « 

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