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Sadiq Khan housing tax policies criticised by Left-wingers

Even as he was being elected as Mayor of London for a record-beating third successive time, Sadiq Khan was under pressure from the Labour Left to be more radical with his approach to housing.

Writing in the historic left-wing publication Tribune, Adam Peggs - who is described as “a writer and activist based in South London” - was criticising Khan for not going far enough with his policies, past and promised.

Peggs criticises Khan’s Mayoral election promise of building 40,000 homes by 2030, writing: “London still needs many more to properly confront the crisis: Shelter’s figures, adjusted for the capital’s population, put the number of new social rented homes needed north of 125,000 by 2030.”

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There is also a suggestion that one of Khan’s most innovative suggestions - creating a public sector development company to build homes - is not radical enough, Peggs says the Mayor fails to make clear how such a developer would operate and make decisions “in fundamentally different ways to its private sector counterparts.” 

Khan is also accused of “a regression” in other housing policies. 

For example, the Mayor advocates buying 10,000 more homes over the next decade, equivalent to 1,000 a year; these would them be repurposed into the social housing sector. Peggs slams Khan for not buying more homes, accusing him of a “lessening of ambition …. where precisely the opposite is needed.”

Khan - who has for some years issued a high volume of calls for new powers to levy property taxes - is nonetheless criticised for not issuing still more statements demanding powers. Peggs states in relation to property taxes on empty homes that if Khan had only called for them more often and louder, “would have shown a commitment to the bold housing agenda London needs.”

The beleaguered London Mayor is also put on notice that “there will be little prospect of meaningfully addressing the crisis unless he and the Greater London Assembly show political courage — and a willingness to direct the scale and powers of City Hall to much bolder ends.”

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