London mayor Sadiq Khan has hit out at chancellor Phillip Hammond for delivering the ‘most anti-London Budget’ in a generation
Khan described the chancellor’s housing measures, which included £15.3 billion extra capital funding for 300,000 new homes across the country, as an ‘astonishing failure’ for London.
‘Today’s measures will not even paper over the cracks,’ Khan said. ’The chancellor did not announce a penny of extra grant for affordable housing in London – even though we know the current spending is less than a fifth of what we need.
‘Everyone knows we need councils to be able to build more, but there was no commitment that any councils in London will be given the powers to do so. This government is all talk and no action on housing.’
Hammond’s proposals also included a further £2.7 billion for the housing infrastructure fund, a £1.1 billion fund to unlock ‘strategic sites’, including new settlements and urban regeneration schemes; a £400 million boost for estate regeneration; and a £630 million ‘small sites’ fund to ‘unstick the delivery of 40,000 homes’.
In addition, the chancellor said he would scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, and for the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000.
The mayor further criticised Hammond for his ’totally inadequate’ air pollution plans and for not addressing counter-terrorism in London.
‘This is the most anti-London Budget in a generation, from a government that has shown contempt for Londoners,’ he added. ‘Hammering London in this way will not encourage growth elsewhere in the UK.’
The mayor did, however, welcome the chancellor’s support for Crossrail 2, but he pointed out that there was no guarantee London would receive a share of the £1.7 billion announced in the budget for new infrastructure.