Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 17, 2003
Question By: 
Eric Ollerenshaw
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The gamble then is an extra increase in Government grant whatever happens and you have not denied that there are going to be Council Tax increases if you get back, so that is fine. What if the Government in general election year " the year after the election for mayor " cannot cough up this extra money because of commitments it may have in other parts of the world, let us say for instance, and therefore you do not get this grant?

Does that mean we are going to get the cuts that already seem to be going ahead or does that mean there is going to be massive increases or does that mean there is going to be increases, for example, in the Congestion Charge tax? How are you going to get it to balance? At the moment, what you are offering to Londoners is massive continual increases in Council Tax and limited increases, it seems to me, in terms of that, even if you get half as much again of increased Government grant, which you cannot guarantee either.

Answer

Answer for Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I am not going to go into an election saying that I believe that Government is so malignantly inclined towards London that they are not going to increase funding from Central Government to the expansion of our transport and policing services. I very much hope that as we proceed with the massive expansion of policing that we are planning, with six dedicated police officers to each of London's 680 wards, we will not just be doing that on our own.

I hope very much that we will see the Government committed behind that because if it works in London it will be copied up and down the country. As with congestion charging, once again London will have led the way in the reconstruction of public services. Can I just point out that in three years we have not incurred a pound of debt for this Authority although I did occasionally have people urging me to do that in order to keep the Council Tax down? We are going into the next election as we started without debt.