Mayor confirms council tax precept cut in draft budget
Londoners are set to benefit from a further reduction in the Mayor of London’s share of household council tax bills, it has been confirmed with the publication of his draft budget for 2015-16. In addition to proposing a cut in the precept by for the fourth consecutive year, the draft budget also sets out how the Mayor will achieve a 10 per cent fall in the precept over the life of his second administration, putting money back in Londoners’ pockets.
The draft 2015/2016 budget for the Greater London Authority Group - including Transport for London, the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Police service and the London Fire Brigade - sets out continued investment in transport upgrades, housing and police officer numbers whilst protecting Londoners from tax increases. Under the Mayor's plans, next year the GLA precept for a typical Band D property will fall from £299 to £295. Since being elected for his second term, four years of precept cuts mean a typical Band D property has seen a reduction of £11.72 and in setting out plans to deliver a 10 per cent cut by 2016/17 over the Mayor's second term, a typical band D property will by this time, fall to £276.
The Mayor's commitment to bear down on costs comes at a time of continued pressure on public budgets, however his proposed spending plan protects key services with investment continuing into transport infrastructure, housing supply for Londoners and policing. The draft budget includes:
• Freezing average fares in real terms in 2015 whilst continuing vital Tube upgrades and transport improvements such as the delivery next year of the 24 hour Tube & reducing Tube delays by 30 per cent by 2015 compared to 2011; a £913m Cycle Vision is well underway; in 2015, the start of works for the Northern Line Extension to Nine Elms and Battersea;
• Continuing investment into housing supply and on track to deliver 100,000 new homes over the Mayor's two terms;
• Funding to support the delivery of police officer numbers at or around 32,000;
• Maintain existing targets for how quickly fire engines attend incidents;
• Supporting young Londoners through apprenticeships;
• Promoting an Olympic and Paralympic legacy, including starting the delivery of Olympicopolis, a new international arts, science and education quarter on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'My draft budget for 2015/2016 delivers on my pledge to run a lean administration that bears down on costs to ensure maximum value for London's hard working taxpayers. This is a plan that promotes economic growth and protects investment into the areas that matter most to Londoners, whilst for the fourth consecutive year trimming my share of the council tax bill.'
Notes to editors
1. The Mayor’s 2015/16 draft Council Tax requirement is £776.3m. Under the proposal the total GLA precept will be reduced from £299 to £295 a year (Band D household).
2. The Mayor’s proposed council tax precept draft budget comprises of £564m to support the Metropolitan Police service, £138m for the London Fire Brigade, £74m for other services such as transport, the Olympic precept and the GLA itself..
3. The Mayor’s draft budget consists of – Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime, Transport for London, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, the London Legacy Development Company and core Greater London Authority. The total gross revenue budget expenditure is £11.404 billion.
4. The consultation document, which outlines the Mayor’s proposals, will be sent to all 32 London Borough Councils, the Corporation of London and key stakeholders in the business and voluntary sectors representing London’s wide range of interests.
5. The document is available on the Greater London Authority website enabling members of the public to make their comments. The direct link to the consultation budget is: http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor-assembly/gla/spending-money-wisely/budget... . The consultation period ends on 14th January 2014.