Boris Johnson yesterday announced a £3bn package designed to help the capital through the current economic downturn. The Mayor has also called on Londoners and business leaders to work with him to see the capital through tough times.
Measures announced and re-announced yesterday include a commitment for Greater London Authority bodies to pay small business invoices within 10 working days and the extension of the ‘CompeteFor’ online supplier brokerage system to give companies more opportunities to bid for GLA and Olympic contracts.
Speaking yesterday Mayor Johnson said he was committed to “using all the resources we have at our disposal to help London through the downturn, obtaining extra funding from wherever we can, and most importantly directing our efforts to build on our great city’s strengths – its people and the enterprises which underpin the success of our economy.”
”Not only have we put together a wide ranging programme of support for business and individuals, we will continue to shout from the roof tops and tell the rest of the world that London is still the best place in the world to visit, to do business in, and to buy goods and services from.”
Johnson predicted that when the “economic storm has blown away, London will emerge an even stronger, more competitive world-beating capital and will be the envy of those cities aspiring to our standing on the global stage.”
Opponents on the London Assembly have criticised the Mayor’s recovery plan, saying it offers little new. Green Party Assembly Member Jenny Jones said a £23 million business support packaged announced yesterday had already been announced.
Jones commented: “The Mayor seriously underestimates the scale of the economic crisis facing London. At a time when there is urgent need of concerted action to protect jobs and increase affordability, the Mayor’s plan rehashes existing policies and re-announces current funding.“
Liberal Democrat AM Dee Doocey has called on the Mayor to provide more support for the voluntary sector. Doocey said: “recent announcements of the cancellation of vital capital infrastructure projects like the Cross River Tram, which would provide much needed investment in jobs and support for SME businesses in one of the most deprived parts of London, shows that maybe the Recovery Plan is not the only answer London needs at this time.”