In London – there is an alternative

February 8, 2013 9:57 am

Today at City Hall we will present Labour’s alternative budget for London to the Mayor. Boris’s record as Mayor is pathetic, he has failed to deliver any meaningful projects and has overseen cuts to London’s frontline emergency services. He talks a good game and is adept at making speeches laying the blame for London’s problems at David Cameron’s door, but he has singularly failed to use the powers and resources at his command to improve life for ordinary Londoners. Our budget amendment has three key aims: protect frontline police and fire services, ease the cost of living crisis, and help young Londoners back to work.

Our key proposals are straightforward, fully costed and could be implemented by the Mayor. 

  • A Jobs Guarantee for all 16-24 year olds who have been out of work for 1 year or more
  • Cut transport fares by 1% so they are in line with inflation
  • Re-allocate business rates to protect frontline police and fire services
  • Freeze the Mayor’s share of the Council Tax
  • Set up a London-wide lettings agency

As the economy stumbles and splutters towards a triple-dip recession the Mayor needs to help the economy and help ordinary Londoners. Cutting fares by 1% will put £34m into Londoners’ pockets and the Jobs Guarantee will put 7,500 long-term unemployed young Londoners back to work. Reallocating business rates will help protect frontline police and fire services to help keep London safe and secure.

Boris may shrug his shoulders and say he is doing all he can, but he is signed up to the government’s reckless economic plans. All he has done is said the ‘rhetoric should be toned down’, but that cuts and austerity should continue. At a time when ordinary Londoners are struggling and the economy is flat-lining he must do more, there is an alternative.

Boris has cut his share of the council tax by 7 pence a week per household, but at the same time has whacked up fares above inflation for the fifth year running. He must be stupid to think Londoners won’t notice this wheeze.

We have a simple message for Boris, you are the Mayor of London, a great city of over 8million people with drive and determination. Instead of pining after another job you should be standing up for Londoners and helping them during these difficult times.

John Biggs is the Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London, covering City of London, Newham, Barking & Dagenham and Tower Hamlets.

  • JC

    So what are the costs? How much would a 1% cut in transport costs cost? What is the cost of paying these 16 – 24 year old’s (surely 17 year old’s?) the living wage? You could at least tell us so we can understand what you want to do.

  • JC

    Thank you for your prompt response (not). It make me think that you have no answer to the questions.

Latest

  • News Woolf and May should “meet survivors groups” over Brittan links, say Labour

    Woolf and May should “meet survivors groups” over Brittan links, say Labour

    Labour have spoken out about complaints that Fiona Woolf QC, head of the public inquiry into historical sex abuse, has links with Leon Brittan. Brittan was the home secretary at the time when the dossier about alleged pedophiles went missing. And Woolf, who is also Lord Mayor of London, admitted yesterday that since 2008 she had dinner with Brittan and his family on five separate occasions but she has said she has “no close association” with him. A number of Labour MPs […]

    Read more →
  • Comment PMQs review: Miliband lands punch on NHS as leaders go through the motions

    PMQs review: Miliband lands punch on NHS as leaders go through the motions

    Here we are again. Another week, another Wednesday, and another wrangle between Cameron and Miliband about the NHS. This is getting a bit old. Cameron attempted to get Miliband on the back foot – he kicked off PMQs by posing questions to the Labour leader about the Welsh NHS. Rather predictably, the rest of PMQs descended into the two party leaders arguing about who can be more trusted with the NHS. But, there was something a little more sinister about […]

    Read more →
  • Comment There is no such thing as a safe seat any more

    There is no such thing as a safe seat any more

    A couple of weeks ago saw the UK elect for the first time a UKIP MP – Douglas Carswell, with a huge majority of 12,000 votes. UKIP made enormous strides in the safe Labour seat of Heywood & Middleton as well, reducing the Labour majority from 5,971 to 617. This rise in the ‘acceptable’ far right should be a cause of concern not just to the Tories but also to us. It is clear from these results there is no […]

    Read more →
  • Comment We must tackle Ukip’s emotional appeal

    We must tackle Ukip’s emotional appeal

    The result in Heywood and Middleton may have shocked some people, but not all. Some warned this could happen after UKIP took or seriously challenged safe council seats in the north, topped the national vote at the Euros, and polled strongly in Labour areas. Their highest average share of the vote in the 2014 elections came in Labour areas like Rotherham, Mansfield and Hartlepool. We’re told if we campaign on the “issues” people will come back to Labour. This fails […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Young Labour voted against supporting the free education demo, but the debate on tuition fees has been reopened

    Young Labour voted against supporting the free education demo, but the debate on tuition fees has been reopened

    Last night Young Labour voted on whether or not to come out in support of the free education demonstration set to take place on the 19th November. Reports suggest, they voted against the motion. This result could easily be interpreted as another sign that the argument against tuition fees is dead in the water. In reality, it tells us that opposite is true. The very fact that this was a topic for discussion at Young Labour’s national committee, that there […]

    Read more →
7ads6x98y