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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ken and Boris clash over the elderly

   Tory Boris Johnson       Labour's Ken Livingstone

The plight of elderly Londoners took the centre stage in the mayoral campaign today. With Labour's candidate, Ken Livingstone, writing a letter to all Members of Parliament representing London constituencies calling on them to vote against the Tory-led government's so called "granny tax" in the Commons today. The letter claims that his Conservative opponent Boris Johnson has "remained silent" on the issue of the "granny tax" and that 410,000 elderly Londoners would be worse off by £83 a year if it goes through. 

Mr Livingstone was in Peckham speaking about his plans for the elderly “The government has opened an attack on older Londoners to pay for a tax cut for the richest. The Tories are taking older Londoners for granted. Instead of fighting for their interests, Tory Mayor Boris Johnson has spent the last two years persuading his Tory chums to cut Tax for the super-rich. If MPs don’t take action today thousands of older Londoners will pay the price of the “granny tax”. If you're an older Londoner there is simply no good reason to vote Tory at this time. I will stand up for older Londoners, so that they gain the dignity and respect that they deserve after decades of contributing to society."

Speaking to the Politico Daily A spokesman for Boris Johnson's campaign said: "Boris Johnson is saving older Londoners thousands of pounds by ending the Freedom Pass age escalator introduced by Labour. If re-elected on 3 May, every Londoner aged 60 and over will be eligible for a Freedom Pass from 1 September 2012, entitling them to free travel across the Transport for London (TfL) network. Additionally, Boris's promise to cut the Mayor's share of council tax by at least 10% over his second term will help put more money back into Londoners' pockets."

The "Granny Tax" vote was passed by the Commons with a majority of 69. No Conservatives or Liberal Democrats from London constituencies voted against the government.