The London Assembly yesterday debated the 2009/2010 Greater London Authority budget which will determine how much money GLA bodies such as Transport for London can spend in the coming year.
Liberal Democrat Assembly leader Mike Tuffrey, said his group “believe that the Mayor’s draft budget contains too much short term thinking and not enough real vision for London. It simply fails to tackle the immediate challenges facing Londoners, or the long term challenges facing London’s environment.”
The Mayor, who is highlighting the ‘freezing’ of the GLA precept on council tax bills, has called on councils across London to freeze their portion of bills. Speaking yesterday he said: “I applaud the boroughs who are already helping to reduce the financial burden on their residents by lowering or freezing their council tax bills and I’d urge other councils who can to explore every possible avenue to do the same.”
Critics point out that although the GLA’s precept is not increasing in the 2009/20010 budget, fares in the capital have gone up.
Writing today for MayorWatch, Green Party AM Darren Johnson says: “Despite his promise of a zero increase to the council tax precept he has raised public transport fares above the rate of inflation, costing a typical working household an extra £180 a year.”
In December the Mayor produced a draft budget for public consultation.
The Assembly will debate the budget again in 2 weeks time when they are expected to approve it. The budget can only be amended by the Assembly if two thirds of AMs agree to do so.