Keir Starmer is always banging on about the cost of living crisis, laying the blame squarely at the door of the evil Tories and their rich non-dom mates.
So perhaps he’d like to explain why he’s 100 per cent behind London’s Labour Mayor Genghis Khan’s plans to soak the poor, the self-employed and the squeezed middle class.
From the end of August, countless motorists in London’s outer boroughs will be hit with a £12.50-a-day charge simply for the privilege of driving their cars and vans.
Khan, desperate to plug the black hole in his budget, has decided to extend the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) tax beyond the inner city to the Home Counties borders around the M25.
It is estimated that those with non-compliant vehicles, especially diesels registered before 2015, will be £3,000 a year worse off, out of taxed income.
Already motorists who cross into the central area are hit not just with the ULEZ levy but must also pay the £15 congestion charge.
From August, even those living beyond the M25 will have to cough up if they have to enter outer London to work, shop or visit friends and family.
While better-off drivers who can afford new hybrids, Teslas and other low-emissions vehicles will be exempt, the effect on those with modest incomes and older vehicles will be devastating. It won’t be just the cost, it’ll be the disruption to their daily lives.
No wonder people are worried sick. Here’s just a couple of examples from my postbag.
The first from a single mum I’ll call Angie, who works at Heathrow Airport and lives in the London Borough of Hounslow.
Angie writes: ‘I earn on average £1,800 a month and I don’t receive any help or benefits. My childcare costs are £600-700 a month. My rent and bills £500. My car insurance is £120. As you can see, I’m left with very little money after everything is paid.
‘My car is a 2014 diesel, just a year under being exempt from the charge. I love my job and need my car. I can’t use public transport because I would have to get three buses to drop my daughter off to childcare, then another bus to work and the same again to pick her up and take her home.
‘I am either going to have to quit my job or get myself into debt to buy a new car. The stress and anxiety it’s causing is through the roof.’