Sadiq Khan takes 10% pay cut amid City Hall cash crisis


Sadiq Khan has promised to take an immediate 10% pay cut – as he announced a £500 million hole in City Hall finances for the year ahead.

This will take the Mayor of London’s £152,734 annual pay to around £137,460.

He is also freezing the salaries of his directly appointed top team, including his 10 Deputy Mayors.

Mr Khan said his decision showed solidarity with London’s key workers.

Mayoral pay is set in accordance with a 2009 report by the Government’s Senior Salaries Review Body – which recommended a small yearly increase in line with local government budget changes.

The Mayor has not taken a pension since his appointment in 2016 – saving tax payers 11% of what they would have paid.

Mr Khan’s decision comes as he warned of cuts at the Metropolitan police, the London Fire Brigade and Transport for London (TfL) if Government ministers don’t step in.

Greater London Authority (GLA) budgets have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with business rate holidays and council tax defaults taking their toll on Mayoral finances.

City Hall now faces a £493 million shortfall in the current financial year – and sources say they fear redundancies at the GLA.

The Mayor said ministers will be “punishing [Londoners] with a new era of austerity” if they don’t provide cash to fill the gap.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously suggested that the Government will not cut spending in the wake of the pandemic.

He said last month that austerity “will not be “part of our approach” when the outbreak subsides – despite fears of a hard-hitting recession.

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But Mr Khan said that without more cash, Londoners will pay the price of the outbreak.

“Unless Ministers act, the current number of police officers will need to be reduced and it will be impossible to tackle youth violence or make the changes to the London Fire Brigade that are desperately needed after the awful Grenfell Tower tragedy,” he said.

“I didn’t enter politics to administer Government austerity, and I will do everything in my power to persuade ministers not to force another era of austerity on local and regional government.”

London Assembly Conservative leader Susan Hall accused the Mayor of spending on “frivolous vanity projects” and creating “waste and flab” in his budget.

The Conservative group proposed a £113 million cut to City Hall spending for this financial year during the budget setting process.

Members wanted to cut public relations staff at the GLA, scrap free travel perks for the family of TfL staff, and reduce culture spending across the city.

Ms Hall said the Mayor should now “get his house in order” before threatening to cut police officers and the fire brigade.

“The Greater London Authority is not alone in facing huge financial difficult due to the coronavirus crisis,” she said.

“But simply by reversing his own decisions the Mayor could save millions to protect the vital services London needs during the [pandemic].”

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