“Mayor’s budget an insult to Londoners”

The Mayor’s GLA Budget includes the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade and Transport for <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>. The figures revealed last week will take effect from April. <city w:st=”on”>London</city>’s emergency services are facing steep cuts and frontline services in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city> will be hit hard:

·         The London Fire Brigade is likely facing the loss of over 20 stations including potentially Westminster fire station, 30 fire engines and hundreds of fire-fighters in light of £40million of further cuts it must make this year and next year

·         The Metropolitan Police have lost 2,208 police officers across <city w:st=”on”>London</city> and 247 police officers in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city> since May 2010. With a proposed £75.8million reduction in the Police Officer wage bill next year, this number could reduce even further.

The Mayor has raised transport fares in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> above inflation for the fifth year running. As Chair of Transport for <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>, Boris Johnson is responsible for setting fare levels for the capital.

Londonwide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said:”Wages for the majority of workers are barely rising and Londoners are really struggling more then elsewhere in the <place w:st=”on”><country-region w:st=”on”>UK</country-region></place>. It is scandalous that Boris has not used his power to curb fare rises, and an insult to hard-working Londoners that he’s claiming credit for saving households 7 pence a week.

“If he’s not there to stand up for Londoners in tough times, then what exactly is he there for? In the past two years TfL have collected £251million more than they were expecting in fares. Last year Londoners paid an average of £782 a year on public transport. It is ludicrous for the Mayor to claim he can’t help Londoners.

“<city w:st=”on”>London</city>’s emergency services still face steep cuts and we’ve seen 247 police officers in <city w:st=”on”>Westminster</city> lost since May 2010, as well as the potential closure of <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city> fire station. With deeper spending cuts on the way from central government, it is time Boris put <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> before his own ambitions.”

Ends

Notes

1.      Murad Qureshi is a Londonwide Assembly Member.

2.   In May 2010 there were 33,147 Police Officers in <place w:st=”on”><city w:st=”on”>London</city></place>, in the last month for which figures are available (November 2012) there were 30,939.

3.   Boris Johnson speaking on the London Mayoral debate programme aired on BBC television on 22 April 2012 said that fares would “go down in an honest and sustainable way”.

4. TfL fare surpluses can be found on page 13 of the December 2012 London Assembly Budget Committee’s pre Budget report: www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/PBR%202012%20-%20FINAL.pdf