Tax-free cash for Ken if he loses battle to be mayor

London mayor Ken Livingstone could benefit from the Budget if he loses the mayoral election to Boris Johnson due to Chancellor Alis- tair Darling’s introduction of a tax exemption.

Buried in the small print of the Budget, legislation will come into effect in April to ensure attractive severance payments to members of the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London.

This will mean tax exemption up to the first £30,000 for the GLA and Livingstone under the new GLA severance pay scheme.

MacIntyre Hudson tax principal Nigel May says: “As Ken battles against Boris Johnson in his bid for a third term as mayor, he can at least draw comfort that if the struggle should end in defeat, he will have a hefty tax-free lump sum with which to console himself.”