Inflation and fares (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 9, 2009
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Is it not the truth, Mr Mayor - and I note John Biggs has disappeared before he can hear it - that, thanks to the financial incompetence of this Government and its failure to begin to project what local government financing and rate support grants are going to be next year that all of us involved in local government are, almost, living in the dark because we do not know what our funding is going to be next year? We do accept the honesty of the opposition - the current opposition - that there will be cuts in national funding and local Government funding, but for us to sit down here today and predict exactly what the fares are going to be next year is, quite honestly, ludicrous - from Jenny Jones and John Biggs' demands - because we do not know what the funding is going to be when the Chancellor himself has not got the courage to stand up and say what the cuts in local Government finance are going to be.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Inflation and fares (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Inflation and fares (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

No, I think, Richard, you are absolutely right. If you look at a macro level, you can certainly see that the failings of the Labour Government, over the last ten years, in many ways mimic the failings of the previous administration here in this place because, by its failure to make the economies when the money was rolling in to the exchequer, by its failure to keep a rein on public spending then, it has made Britain's fiscal position absolutely disastrous.

It has made our ability to weather, our national ability - as I repeatedly say, London will come through very well - the recession so much more precarious by its fiscal profligacy in the period of the earlier part of this decade. This country is paying for it now and that is why, when you look at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, it is Britain that is going to be lagging, according to projections, in coming out of the recession. London will, of course, lead the United Kingdom (UK) out of the recession and there are parts of the London economy that are doing far, far, far better than some of the gloomsters predicted. But that is no thanks to the Government.

Richard Barnes (AM): Is it not also true, Mr Mayor, that it is not just bus fares which are under colossal pressure, but also social care and, indeed, support for the poorest members of society, thanks to this socialist Government that we have got, and their latest announcements on housing subsidy is really a disgusting reflection on their achievements?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Correct. It is staggering financial mismanagement that, at the tail end of the Government, it suddenly discovers that the cupboard is bare and all sorts of programmes which were for the benefit of people on the lower incomes in society, are suddenly impossible to pursue, it claims. I really think that is a tragic indictment of the way this Government has been conducted over the last 10/11 years.