It all seemed to be going so swimmingly: for the last decade, London has been the engine room of the British economy, with its 33 boroughs paying an average total of £17bn a year into Government coffers. Last year, though, things took a bit of a nosedive, with that figure falling to a paltry £1.4bn.
What's going on? Well, according to the City of London Corporation, which keeps an eye on such things, it's a combination of the fact that the Capital has been relying too much on the finance sector, which failed to deliver much in the way of profits last year, and the day-to-day running costs of the City itself, which may even outstrip tax receipts in the 2010/11 financial year.But before we think about cancelling the Olympics, it looks like the drop is temporary. As long as London (and the banks) grow at the expected rate, we should be back in the black before you can say 'off with Boris' head'. According to forecasts, London be back on track by 2015/16, delivering record tax receipts of £27bn. £38bn, in fact, when you take into account rises in corporation tax.