Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [10]

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

Question

I am not sure if people in Outer London feel that £0.70 becoming £1 is not an increase but there you go. We will not argue about that. You said in answer to earlier question that your 60% increase was this astonishing success in Government grant and that if you got half as much again in the future, that would be counted as a great success. Now you have committed London to an Olympic bid and all that may develop in terms of cost.

You have committed in terms of Tube unions to a four-year pay deal; you have got massive commitments in terms of transport and we do not know what commitments taking over the Tube will bring. On the 30% increase on top in Government grants, if in the first three years of your mayoralty 60% increases led to an 82% increase in Council Tax, can we assume you will be going to the electorate promising, I think, a 184% increase in Council Tax in the future if you get back in?

Answer

Answer for Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Future tax and service levels (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

No, I shall make the same commitment I made when I sought election the first time: that I will be prepared to increase the Council Tax in order to improve public services here in this city. Whilst percentages may sound terrifying, let us remember that we are talking about an increase in Council Tax to all the policing, fire and transport services in London, which has come out at £1.98 a week on a Band D. For that, we have got the biggest improvement in bus services in history.

We are now carrying as many passengers as we did in 1969. We have the highest policing numbers in our history and we are beginning to see the return of policing on the beat and the security that will bring. We are, I think, in a position where the fire brigade is about to have a substantial increase in order to cope with the problems of terrorism in the city. Unless what you are suggesting is somehow transport workers and the police should work for nothing.