£50 Million Owed By Embassies
In Unpaid Congestion Charges
The total level of unpaid Congestion Charge by embassies based in London will soar through the £50 million figure this month predicts Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.
At the start of the year £48.7 million was owed to Londoners by embassies. Transport for London (TfL) have now confirmed that as of yesterday the figure had reached £49.4 million and that later this month the total unpaid bill will exceed £50 million.
Caroline Pidgeon commented:
“The amount in unpaid Congestion Charges and Penalty Charge Notices owed by embassies is now so large that it could pay for more than 260 new buses on London’s streets, or fund the significant expansion of the cycle hire scheme, or alternatively reduce fare rises.
“It is disgraceful that £50 million is now being denied to Londoners by embassies that dodge paying the Congestion Charge. The small minority of embassies that think it is acceptable to evade paying the Congestion Charge are insulting each and every Londoner.
“The Congestion Charge is exactly what its name suggests – it is a charge, not a tax. Embassies that claim that it is a tax are just clutching at poor excuses to justify their insulting behaviour.
Caroline Pidgeon also criticised Boris Johnson’s record on this issue.
“The Mayor claims he is concerned about the minority of embassies that evade the Congestion Charge yet he has failed to show leadership, or take any real action on this issue. He should start getting tough with the embassies that refuse to pay and ensure Londoners are no longer denied millions of much needed money for transport projects in London.”
January 9, 2011