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 North-East London will be hit hard:
- The London Fire Brigade is likely facing the loss of over 20 stations including potentially Kingsland, Clerkenwell and Islington fire 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 100 police officers in Hackney and 72 in Islington 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.
Local Labour London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold OBE AM said:
“Boris has raised transport fares above inflation for the fifth year running. People are now paying £72 more for an annual Zone 1-4 travel card than last year. His council tax cut amounts to just 7p a week per household. This is an insult to hard-working Hackney and Islington residents who are already struggling with a triple whammy of rising food, fuel and rent costs.
“Rather than being a cheerleader for government cuts, the Mayor needs to stand up for Londoners and be counted. Since May 2010 the Met have lost 100 police officers in Hackney, 72 in Islington and three fire stations (Kingsland, Islington and Clerkenwell) have been identified for possible closure. The Mayor and his colleagues in government are cutting too far, too fast. They are hitting the frontline police and fire services that we all depend on to keep us safe.”