Only 75% of what Londoners pay in taxes is returned to the capital in government spending. Last year, London sacrificed over £12 billion of its income – the equivalent of over £1,700 for every man, woman and child in the capital.
And not all Londoners are rich. Higher incomes are in part off-set by a higher cost of living. Unemployment in London is 4% higher than the national average. Of the twenty most severely deprived districts in England, fourteen are in London.
Londoners receive relatively poor public services. Funding of some key public services in London is less, in real terms, than for the rest of the UK.
Should London subsidise the rest of the UK to such an extent that it suffers itself? Is it good economics? After all, there are projects, such as the renovation of the London Underground, which do desperately need investment.
A London mayor must secure the popular mandate to demand a better deal for London. This will, the author shows, benefit not just London, but the nation as a whole.