Mike Tuffrey AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly budget spokesperson says Boris Johnson has failed to deliver a council tax cut for Londoners.
Helping Londoners through hard times
After four years at City Hall the Mayor has frozen his budget precept for the fourth year in a row.
Sounds impressive? Well, actually it is not.
For the last two years all local authorities have been given a central government grant to freeze the council tax, so credit is due to the national government, not Boris Johnson.
In fact the Mayor was elected on a promise of cracking down on waste. Since then he has banded around large numbers. So Londoners can properly now ask: why am I not seeing my council tax bill come down?
When you examine these facts it suddenly becomes clear a four freeze of the council precept doesn’t add up to much.
That’s why the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group put forward budget proposals which challenge many of the Mayor’s plans. The budget proposals include targeted fare cuts to help Londoners on the lowest incomes, extra policing, action to make London’s roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists and a big boost for house building and environmental protection.
By cutting out some extravagant waste – such as £1 million spent on chauffeur driven cars and private flats for senior police officers – we can focus the money where most needed.
In a detailed amendment to the Mayor of London’s draft Budget the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group plans to use savings obtained to ensure frontline services are protected whilst delivering a cut of 3.2% in the GLA’s share of Council Tax bills, giving average London households £10 back.
The specific proposals include:
- A better and fairer fares package, including a One Hour Bus Ticket, the introduction of part-weekly Travelcards, the reintroduction of a one-day Zone 2 – 6 Travelcard and a lower ‘early bird’ fare for tube, DLR and TfL rail
- The reinstatement of 150 sergeant posts that have been removed from Safer Neighbourhood Teams across London
- Action to start switching all of London’s bus fleet to electric buses by 2020, helping to clean up air pollution alongside a new Clean Air Zone for the area where ill health from air pollution is most severe
- Improvement work on London’s most dangerous junctions and all junctions on the existing Cycle Superhighways, combined with more cycle training and the rollout of safety mirrors
- Action to tackle rogue landlords and establish minimum standards for private rented housing
When most Londoners are struggling with zero pay rises and increased household costs, it is wrong that the Mayor is not helping them in these tough economic times.
Our transport proposals would make cycling and walking safer, drive forward a big switch to electric buses and help support the growth of river transport.
Most importantly our fare proposals provide a real helping hand to London’s lowest paid workers who struggle so much with the high cost of travel brought in by this Mayor.