Boris Announces No Rise in Tax
Mayor announces the first ever freeze of the GLA precept
For the first time ever, millions of Londoners will experience a freeze in the GLA’s share of the council tax.
In the Mayor’s draft consolidated budget, published for consultation today, Boris Johnson has outlined how he has delivered an end to the spiralling costs of the GLA precept. Since 2000 the GLA precept has risen by 152 per cent, however the Mayor has identified substantial efficiency savings so now more than three million London households will benefit from a freeze in the amount of council tax that is payable to the GLA.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said, ‘ In this time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to deliver value for money and to keep taxes as low as possible. When people are feeling the squeeze, the last thing politicians should do is hit them with tax increases.
‘For far too long, the previous Mayoralty produced inflation busting increases, without regard to cutting waste and controlling costs. With these budget plans we have made over £100 million of efficiency savings, so that we are able to freeze the GLA precept at the same time as putting 500 extra police on the streets, which is something that has never been done before. I am confident that we can continue to deliver more services for less, to help hard-pressed Londoners make ends meet.’
The budget plans show how the Mayor will meet his commitment to freeze the GLA Group’s share of the council tax by delivering greater value for money and efficiency within the GLA Group. In total the budget plans include over £100 million of efficiency savings, which will not impact on front line services. These savings are forecast to grow to almost £1bn over the next three financial years, releasing resources to help Londoners and to invest in delivering services that are vital for London’s economic prosperity and Londoners’ quality of life.
Crime and safety is the biggest issue for Londoners and next year’s budget provides the resources to allow more police to get out onto the beat to provide visible reassurance to the public and to tackle Londoners’ priorities such as knife crime and youth violence. There will also be funding to complete the roll out of more than 500 uniformed crime fighters dedicated entirely to policing bus hubs across London, outer borough rail stations and cracking down on illegal cabs.
The Mayor’s budget also includes a £7 million cut in spending at City Hall, after a GLA-wide improvement programme has streamlined the organisation structures to focus on key priorities such as affordable housing, more trees, better parks and funding for four Rape Crisis Centres.
The Mayor has also delivered on a key manifesto commitment that the element of the council tax precept that will go to support the delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will remain frozen at 38 pence a week for the average London council tax payer.
The document is available on the Greater London Authority website (www.london.gov.uk/gla/budget), enabling members of the public to make their comments. The consultation period ends on 12 January 2009.
December 26, 2008