Business leaders and Sadiq Khan say Rishi Sunak has let down London

London business leaders today spoke of the “deeply disappointing” level of support from a Budget that largely snubbed the capital.

Rishi Sunak made just three mentions of London — the powerhouse of the British economy — in his 63-minute speech, none of which were new announcements to benefit its employers or residents.

Business group London First said: “The Chancellor reeled off a shopping list worth of towns and cities across the UK but barely mentioned the nation’s capital.

“With London generating a net tax surplus of nearly £39 billion in normal times, its swift recovery will be vital for supporting levelling up across the UK.

“There were some welcome moves to support hard-pressed firms on the road to recovery — from business rates discounts to fuel duty cuts — but the absence of a funding deal for TfL is deeply disappointing: London itself won’t have the ‘London-style transport network’ the Chancellor says he wants for other parts of the country if it doesn’t get the cash it needs.”

There was also little enthusiasm for the business rates reform package which will have least impact in the capital.

London also received the second lowest allocation of any UK region from the first tranche of the Levelling Up Fund — just £65 million for six projects from a total £1.7 billion.

The Centre for London think tank said it equalled £7.22 per person in London against £41.43 in the East Midlands.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the Budget “ takes the capital for granted.”

Meanwhile, analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank warned Britain could be facing a “flat recovery for household living standards” following the Budget.

It said tax bills had risen by £3,000 per household since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019 while the weakest decade of pay growth since the 1930s combined with rising inflation meant real wages were set to fall again next year.

That was echoed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which said there would be “very slow growth” in living standards over the coming years.

“A middle earner is likely to be worse off next year than this as high rates of inflation and tax rises more than negate small average wage increases,” said IFS director Paul Johnson.

“This of course comes on top of a decade of historically feeble increases in real incomes.

“The gap between what we might have expected on the basis of pre-financial crisis trends and what is actually happening is staggering.”

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