Mayor’s Budget "An Insult" To Londoners

Call made for Boris to put London before his own ambitions

The Mayor’s draft budget for the 2013/14 financial year was released last week. It included a cut to Band D council tax of 1.2%, or £3.72 a year – less then a one-day Zone 1-4 Travel-card. From the beginning of January, an annual Zone 1-4 Travel-card will cost Londoners £72.00 more than last year.

The Mayor's GLA Budget includes the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and Transport for London. The figures revealed last week will take effect from April. London’s emergency services are facing steep cuts and frontline services in Wandsworth will be hit hard:

• The London Fire Brigade is likely facing the loss of over 20 stations, 30 fire engines and hundreds of fire-fighters in light of £40million of further cuts it must make this year and next year
• The Metropolitan Police have lost 2,208 police officers across London and 61 police offices in Wandsworth since May 2010. With a proposed £75.8million reduction in the Police Officer Wage bill next year this number could reduce even more

The Mayor has raised transport fares in London above inflation for the fifth year running. As Chair of Transport for London, Boris Johnson is responsible for setting fare levels for the capital.

Labour Londonwide Assembly Member Fiona Twycross said:
“Wages for the majority of workers are barely rising and Londoners are being hit by the triple whammy of rising food, fuel and rent costs more than elsewhere in the UK. It is scandalous that Boris has not used his power to curb fare rises, and an insult to hard-working Londoners that he’s claiming credit for saving households 7 pence a week.

“If Boris is not there to stand up for Londoners in tough times, then what exactly is he there for? In the past two years TfL has collected £251million more than they were expecting in fares. Last year Londoners paid an average of £782 a year on public transport. It is ludicrous for the Mayor to claim he can’t help Londoners.

“London’s emergency services still face steep cuts and we’ve seen 61 police officers in Wandsworth lost since May 2010. With deeper spending cuts on the way from central government, it is time Boris put London before his own ambitions.”

January 9, 2013