26 January 2012

Ken Livingstone's Assembly allies vote against Mayor's budget, council tax freeze

Yesterday, Ken Livingstone's allies on the London Assembly - led by his Deputy Mayoral running mate Val Shawcross - voted against Boris Johnson's budget, which delivers a fourth council tax freeze in a row and secures 1,000 extra police officers by May 2012.

When members were called to declare themselves 'for' or 'against' approving the budget, every one of the 8 Labour members said they were against. This will be the 12th year that Labour have failed to support a council tax freeze for hard pressed London households.  Worse still, during Ken Livingtone's 8 years in office council tax went up a staggering 153%.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr. Livingstone indicated he'd return to type if given another term, saying: "I am never going to live in a world where someone with my policies gets an easy time from the media. I am going to increase your taxes and, of course, you don't want to vote for me."

By voting ‘against’ the budget yesterday, London Assembly members Jennette Arnold, John Biggs, Len Duvall, Nicky Gavron, Joanne McCartney, Murad Qureshi, Navin Shah and Valerie Shawcross showed their constituents that they were out of touch with Londoners, who can ill afford a council tax increase during these tough times.  They also showed their opposition to Boris Johnson's plan to put an additional 1,000 police officers on the beat. During Boris's time in office, crime has fallen by 10% across London - now is not the time to put Londoners' safety at risk by opposing a budget that protects police funding.

Mr. Livingstone's allies showed their hand during this first vote on the budget, but there is another, final vote on 9 February. Please sign on to www.borisbudget.com and contact your Assembly Member today.  Urge them not to block the Mayor's budget and council tax freeze.


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