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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Boris pledges 10% cut in council tax

Conservative Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson 
The Conservative party candidate, for the London Mayoral election, Boris Johnson has pledged this morning to cut the Mayor's share of council tax by 10% over the four years of the next mayoralty, if he wins on May 3rd. Mr Johnson who in his last budget cut his share of the council tax, a tax cut that the Labour party on GLA voted against, following three years of the mayor's share of council tax being frozen.

Boris Johnson has set about cutting waste in City Hall since being elected as Mayor in 2008. Mr Johnson who says he has already pledged to continue cutting out waste at City Hall and has this morning published his Cutting waste and council tax, now pledges. Mr Johnson's main commitments are: 
Cut council tax for every Londoner by at least 10%. This will be phased over the next four years, with a guaranteed cut every year and follows on from me freezing council tax for each of the past three years and cutting it this year. 
Save a further £1.5 billion across the GLA Group in the coming year, bringing total savings since I was elected to £3.5 billion – freeing money for services by cutting waste, including at Transport for London to help me to keep fares low in the long term, without wrecking the urgently needed modernisation of the network. 
Publish an itemised breakdown to show Londoners where the Mayor’s share of council tax is spent. 
Publish all GLA Group spending over £250, and the expenses and register of interests of senior staff, not just advisors, will be itemised online for the the first time, continuing the culture of transparency and openness I have introduced at City Hall.
Speaking Boris Johnson said: 
We are going through tough economic times, and Londoners are understandably concerned about their jobs and the cost of living. This is why my priorities over the last four years have been cutting waste and bureaucracy at City Hall and ensuring London taxpayer money is put where you want to see it spent. 
Every pound of Londoners’ money is precious, and should be spent in a clear, open and honest way on their priorities – creating jobs and making London safer. When I was elected the entire City Hall budget was in chaos. My determination to end the waste and mismanagement of the previous Mayor has freed up the money to pay for a strong plan for London’s future and we are putting that money where 
Londoners want to see it spent - in spite of the very difficult financial circumstances. I want to continue taking London forward, to deliver even greater value and even more transparency for Londoners. And every pledge that I have made in this election is also fully costed and fully funded. 
Ken Livingstone presided over a discredited regime that squandered taxpayers’ money on self- publicity, his jaunts to Cuba and Venezuela, and accusations of cronyism. This tarnished the reputation of London and resulted in Londoners having little trust in the Mayoralty.
I have worked hard to change this culture, stamping out waste and bringing transparency to spending. I have already cut £2 billion of waste across the GLA Group to free up investment for Londoners’ priorities, including putting 1,000 more police on London’s streets, and creating over 200,000 jobs over the next four years as well as investing in the modernisation of the transport network, and above all, holding down council tax.
And as your council tax bills show, we have made progress despite difficult times. At the Mayoral election on 3rd May this progress is at risk.
The choice at this election is between taking London backwards to the years of waste and division or to go forward with my plan to cut council tax, cut waste, and make sure that every penny of public money is spent on Londoners' priorities to make London the best big city to live in.