The Mayor of London’s budget for 2012/13 was passed at the final vote last week. Boris Johnson’s budget included the unprecedented cut in the Mayor’s share of council tax, known as the precept, which he had already frozen for the previous three years. Yet despite the council tax cut, every one of Labour’s assembly members refused to support it.
The budget shows the Mayor’s commitment to delivering value-for-money. It includes:
- · A cut in council tax;
- · An extra £90 million to the Metropolitan Policing Authority;
- · A £1.9 billion investment in homes for Londoners that will create 100,000 construction jobs;
- · 1,000 more police officers on the streets.
The budget adds savings of £1.5 billion to the £2 billion already achieved. For example, there has been a 40% reduction in the number of posts at City Hall since 2008, saving Londoners £30 million a year.
This was the first time a cut in the Mayor’s share of council tax has been proposed, let alone passed. Ken Livingstone increased the precept by 152 percent over his two terms, costing a Band D household £964.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I promised to end the culture of waste created by Ken Livingstone and keep taxes low.
“I kept this promise. We've frozen our share of council tax every year. And we've done this by ruthlessly ferreting out waste.
“We no longer spend £10,000 on a subscription to the Morning Star. We no longer spend £3m a year on a personal propaganda sheet for the Mayor. And we haven't spent £20,000 on a lunch for Hugo Chavez, or £30,000 on a trip to Cuba.
“By working over the last three years to turn around London's finances, I am able – for the first time in the history of the mayoralty – to cut my share of council tax.”
Greg Hands M.P. said: “The contrast could not be starker: Ken has always hiked taxes up, but Boris is bringing them down. Ken makes promises he can’t afford, but Boris delivers.
“That’s what Londoners will remember when they cast their votes this year.”