Fat cat salaries have surged since Sadiq Khan became Mayor of London | Politics | News

Sadiq Khan has been accused of squandering taxpayers cash as new figures show fat cat salaries have almost doubled under his watch.

The number of staff earning more than £100,000 has surged from 655 to 1,146 in the past six years, according to the TaxPayers Alliance.

The dramatic rise in six-figure salaries comes as Londoners are braced for inflation-busting council tax rises next month.

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for May’s London Mayoral elections, blasted the largesse.

She said: “Under Sadiq Khan, City Hall has turned into one big gravy train, with hundreds of staff receiving salaries greater than the top 4% earners in the country. 

“Many of the staff directly responsible for bringing in the ULEZ expansion are earning over £100,000, paid for by the poorest Londoners through his £12.50 daily tax.

“Sadiq Khan won’t listen to Londoners, but I am listening. Under my Mayoralty, City Hall will be leaner and focused on serving Londoners, not wasting money or taxing the poorest through the ULEZ expansion.”

Mr Khan has come under mounting pressure over wasteful spending after it emerged his “night tsar” Amy Lamé was sent on business trips to Australia, Spain and Italy in recent months.

Ms Lamé costs the capital £117,000 in her position – a job that aims to foster and “build partnerships” around the world.

City hall and its subsidiaries, including Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police, are funded through the mayoral precept, which is added on to Londoners’ council tax bills. 

According to the TaxPayers Alliance the precept has increased by 57 per cent during the current mayor’s time in office, from £276 for band D properties in 2016-17 to £434 in 2023-24. 

This will surge to £471 in 2024-25.

Its analysis shows that TfL had 772 employees earning more than £100,000 in 2022/23, up from 518 in 2018-19. 

TfL also had 18 employees who received more than £250,000, including almost £500,000 for the chief programme officer of Crossrail, Jim Crawford, and £261,490 for the chief operating officer of the Elizabeth Line, Howard Smith. 

Included in Mr Smith’s remuneration are bonuses and benefits in kind worth £71,740, the most of anyone on the list. 

This is despite figures from the Office of Rail and Road revealing the Elizabeth Line had the highest cancellations of any railway line in the four weeks to 19 August.

The number of employees receiving over £100,000 in the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which includes the Metropolitan Police, increased from 80 to 301 between 2018-19 and 2023-24. 

Four employees received over £250,000, including Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, who received £313,366. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was a 21 per cent increase in knife crimes in the year to June 2023.

There are 15 people on the mayoral team who received more than £100,000, costing a total of £2,174,374. 

Mr Khan himself received £171,587 in 2022-23, an increase of £21,000, or 14 per cent, compared to 2018-19.

Elliot Keck, head of campaigns of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “City hall is now bursting at the seams with the growing number of officials bringing home the big bucks.

“From transport, to police and the mayor’s office, the number of fat cats has surged, all paid for by Londoners who have seen their council tax bills balloon.

“Sadiq Khan should give taxpayers a break and keep a lid on these senior salaries, particularly when services have been so poorly managed.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “As Mayor of one of the largest cities in the world, Sadiq makes no apology for offering competitive salaries to attract the experienced staff needed to help him deliver on the issues that matter most to Londoners. The Mayor wants to ensure London’s public transport system and reformed police service are the very best in the world, and this means attracting the very best talent and expertise.

“The Mayor continues to deliver for Londoners – providing free school meals for all state primary school children, building a record number of council homes, cracking down on crime, and making public transport better and more affordable for millions of Londoners, in addition to world-leading action to tackle the climate crisis and air pollution.”

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