But you have already lost some transport grant this year and your very argument about the £1.5 billion. Is that not why Ministers (and we would be interested to know which Ministers you have been lobbying on this) will turn round and say they have given enough already; they are already committing themselves to the Olympics so why should they commit to all these endless other schemes when, presumably, as I said, the rest of the United Kingdom also has a whole wish list of schemes. Moreover, given the problems, Gordon Brown probably could not finance it anyway. Plus there is the Government going into a general election when I assume, unless I am totally mistaken, that he will also want to run down the Ken Livingstone line and keep lower tax increases that year to masquerade the electorate on low taxation.
So, in the midst of all that, how can you conceive that it is actually possible and probably and, therefore, if you are a prudent Mayor bound by prudent finances should you not be looking at what is happening next year in terms of your budget to start stacking up some money then. The only way to do that is also to increase the Council Tax precept. So you are strapped either way: it is a large increase next year which you are trying to avoid for election purposes; or it is massive Council Tax increases the following year. There is no way out. Should you not be honest now with Londoners and tell them that?