Don’t let Boris Johnson tell you that the mayor can’t improve Londoners’ lives

11th April, 2012 10:30 am

Two weeks ago, the Conservative government launched an attack on Londoners’ living standards. Four hundred thousand London pensioners hit by the ‘granny tax’. Two hundred and fifty thousand families in London losing out on tax credits.

London needs a mayor who will stand up to that attack and do what they can to help working Londoners. Instead, all a Conservative mayor has done is lobby to cut tax for people on £150,000 a year – five times what the average working Londoner earns.

Those are the priorities of a Conservative mayor. My priorities are different. Londoners need a mayor who understands the need to ease the squeeze on their standard of living.

On transport, I will cut transport costs for working Londoners through a fares cut. Boris Johnson won’t do anything.

On energy costs, I will pool Londoners’ buying power to cut energy costs for Londoners. Boris Johnson won’t do anything.

On education, I will bring back the EMA for young Londoners. Boris Johnson won’t do anything.

On housing, I will start to tackle rip-off rents and agency fees with a new not-for profit lettings agency. Boris Johnson won’t do anything.

On crime, Boris Johnson has admitted cutting police numbers by 1,700 officers since the peak in 2010, yet many serious crimes are rising. We will re-allocate budgets to restore those cuts. Boris Johnson does not accept there is even a problem.

Don’t let Boris Johnson tell you that the mayor can’t improve Londoners’ lives, just because all he has to show for four years are some over-expensive bikes.

If you have a mayor with the right priorities we can make a difference for Londoners.

My manifesto, published today, will help ease the pressure on Londoners, with key pledges that will make Londoners better off, by £1,000, or more. These are policies for the majority of Londoners whose voices are not being heard. It is an effective and serious plan that will ease the squeeze on the majority and put money back into the London economy.

Labour’s online ‘Better Off’ calculator will help every Londoner understand how they will benefit from a Labour mayor.

With the manifestos now launched we can see very clearly the decisive choice in the London election – which candidate will ensure Londoners are better off. Only Labour will put the majority first.

Ken Livingstone is Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London.

  • Iain

    Ken claims he will bring back EMA, the Department for Education say he, if mayor, legally can’t. Main reason that its not been abolished I assume. He claims Boris is only in favour of tax cuts for the rich but as Mayor Boris has frozen the council tax for three years and cut it this year – Labour voted against that tax cut. Ken for the record put council tax up by nearly £1000 when he was mayor and Labour on the GLA voted for those tax rises. So higher taxes Labour vote for – tax cuts Labour vote against. 

    • Alexwilliamz

      No but he can provide funds for something similar.

      • JoeDM

         And where will the money come from ?

        • AlanGiles

          If we can find the money for eight new Routemaster buses at a cost of several million pounds (eight out of a fleet of several thousand), and some of the other vanity projects, I am sure we can find the money to help less advantaged youngsters and their parents to help pay for textbooks, stationery etc.

          • GuyM

            This sort of disinformation shows how bad the left is with commerce.

            The new buses cost a lot per unit for the firtst batch as they were prototypes. This is standard for R&D and new product development. As time goes on the cost per unti drops, a fact it seems the left are oblivious to.

            The old bendy buses were horrible, few liked them and led to a large amount of fare evasion, no one will miss them.

          • AlanGiles

            Only 8 have been commissioned. By now 4 of them should be in service but as of last week only 2 were.

            There are no plans for large scale production of this bus, and to his credit, Johnson has never suggested otherwise.

            Apart from anything else, as most of the current London bus fleet is only about 5/6 years of age maxium (in outer London there are ten year old models but they are being phased out), there would be little purpose in building large quantities of this vehicle – even if the funds were available (which they are not)

          • Bill Lockhart

            The money for the new buses will be easier to find now that Livingstone’s gift to fare-dodgers, the absurd (outside a post war grid city) cyclist-massacring Mercedes articulated monsters have finally gone.

          • Alexwilliamz

            I enjoyed this post even though I have no idea what it is about.

    • dave stone

      The EMA has already been brought back by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, now called the Mayor’s Education Award*.

      If it can be done for Tower Hamlets it can be done for all Londoners.

      Ken’s the man.


      • AlanGiles

        I think that is a good idea, to rename it, while making it clear that it is intended as a replacement for EMA, and provided it had a “London” connection there is no reason why funds couldn’t come from a suitable budget.

        The sad thing is EMA was discontinued, because although there are plenty of pockets of poverty in London, of course things are so much worse in other parts of Britain, and these young people, in the North of England especially, would benefit greatly from this support.

      • GuyM

        Just yet another Labour authority taxing more and bribing its core vore.

        Same old Labour

        • dave stone

          Tower Hamlets?! If Gulliver’s Travels is your guide to political geography then perhaps yes.

  • Daniel Speight

     London needs a mayor that cares about London. I don’t think Johnson is able to claim that.

    • Bill Lockhart

      Anyone who cycles in London might disagree.

      • Daniel Speight

         Bill you could be right. Those Londoners earning over £150,000 maybe another group that think he cares.

  • Alexwilliamz

    Four hundred thousand reasonably well off pensioners hit by granny tax.

    • Hugh

       Is that a criticism or commendation?

      • Alexwilliamz

        Merely an observation.

  • Hmmmm

    I thought, Ken, that you’d pledged against negative campaigning, yet your article is riddled with negative (and false) assertions about the nature of Boris’s campaign.  You really can’t help yourself!  

    Looking at your proposals themselves, perhaps you will explain how you will cut fares when everybody else says your costings are riddled with as many mistakes as your personal tax accounts.  Perhaps you will explain how you will reintroduce the EMA when it is not a matter within your remit, the extent to which you propose its reintroduction and how it would be funded.

    It seems from the most recent poll that most people don’t believe you can deliver on anything you say.  If you want to concentrate on policy (and see your personal tax hypocrisy and half-truths as a distraction), then you really need to put some flesh on the very bare bones of your disbelieved policy pledges.  


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