MQT on 2012-03-14
Session date: 
March 14, 2012
Question By: 
Gareth Bacon
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How much extra did the previous Mayor cost Londoners through his annual increases in the precept and is it the policy of your Mayoralty to reduce the cost of the precept to Londoners?


Answer for Precept

Answer for Precept

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Thank you very much, Gareth, and the answer is the previous Mayor put the precept up by £187 on average for a typical Band D property. Overall, over the eight-year period, it was £964 that it went up and, by the way, much more in some parts of London. I think what it represented was a contemptuous and high-handed approach to taxpayers' money because that money was not being well used. As everybody in London knows, huge sums of it were being spent on things of no conceivable benefit to the people of this City.

Gareth Bacon (AM): Thank you, Mr Mayor. Would you view it as a shameful legacy to keep quiet both about that record and a previous record when the Leader of Greater London Council, when it was increased by 89% and are you confident in standing by your record, as the first Mayor or Civic Leader of London, to cut the precepts in the way you have?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes and I think it is in tough times, when people have been hurting, it is absolutely right that we should bear down on costs where we can and where we can do it honestly and sustainably. That is why you have taken so much cost out of London budgets.

Gareth Bacon (AM): As Mayor, what would your response be to any senior London politician who has a track record of consistently raising fares and taxes across the board all the time in office? What would your response be to their policy of cutting transport fares while relying on double counted fares' income that has already been allocated in TfL budgets for investment elsewhere?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): They have to come clean with Londoners and say where the money is coming from because we cannot afford to go back to the wasteful and irresponsible approach that characterised the last administration. Indeed, the whole approach to tax and spending that got Britain into the mess it is in and that is why we put so much store by our promises to London, which we have kept. There they are again, while Jennette is momentarily engaged elsewhere. Just to catch your attention, Jennette, there is our audit of what we have done, what we said we wanted to deliver and what we have delivered. It is a fine record of keeping your promises and what I want to hear from the opposition is how they would keep their promises particularly since they broke them so flagrantly last time.