Labour and Green politicians in the London Assembly have blocked attempts by the Liberal Democrats to increase the financial support available to those in outer London impacted by the expansion of Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion.
The Liberal Democrats had brought a motion to the Assembly today that called on the Mayor to increase the maximum payment claimants can make to the scrappage scheme, and open up the scheme to all those in outer London rather than just those on benefits.
Despite previously backing proposals to double the scrappage scheme and expand those it was available to, the Green Party chose to block efforts this time, instead supporting Labour.
When amending the motion, Labour and the Greens chose to state the expansion was only impacting a “minority” of people. The Green Party and Labour also voted to block an amendment that would have called for the rollout of ULEZ to have a longer lead in time, despite backing from the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.
Labour’s move to block the motion comes just a few days after Labour’s candidate in the upcoming Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election spoke out against Sadiq Khan’s timing of the ULEZ expansion.The Liberal Democrats have also previously called on the UK Government to fund a scrappage scheme to areas impacted by ULEZ expansion outside of London itself.
Commenting on the vote, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon AM said:
“Air pollution is a killer and it needs to be tackled. That is a fact we all recognise.
“But we need to ensure the public is fully supported to make and adapt to any changes introduced, and that is what Labour and the Green Party have failed to understand today.
“It is particularly confusing that the Greens, who previously supported providing people with extra financial support to cope with the changes, now don’t.
“Uptake of the current scrappage scheme remains far too low and is primarily because the amount that can be claimed is too low to buy a ULEZ compliant vehicle, especially as the announcement of the expansion has caused an inflationary effect.
“The reserves we proposed using to expand are still there. The Mayor has the power to expand this scheme.
“The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for giving all Londoners the right to breathe clean air, but we will also not shy away from making sure people have the support needed to make these changes.”