Yesterday the Mayor’s budget passed its final hurdle at the London Assembly. There was a three hour debate which did not amount to much. Opposition members failed to amend the Mayor’s budget so it is now final.
It takes at least two thirds of Assembly members to overturn or amend the Mayor’s budget and with 11 out of 25 members being Conservatives this is never going to happen.
The Mayor says:
So for the first time in the history of the Greater London Authority, I am delighted to announce the first ever freeze of the GLA precept. Over the last eight years, Londoners have been afflicted with a 152 per cent increase in the council tax, without any regard to waste or cost controls. This budget outlines my commitment to deliver on frontline services and to tackle the big issues like crime and safety, whilst also providing value for money and keeping taxes as low as possible. By focussing on modest savings across the board, this year we have achieved over £100 million of efficiency savings, which we are looking to increase to almost £1 billion over the next three financial years.
It is worth remembering the eye-watering rise in precept we had to endure during Ken Livingstone’s first term as mayor. The rises to-date are listed below.
Livingstone raised the Band D precept from £123 per annum by a factor of over two and a half times to £311 in eight years a rise of 152% as the current Mayor points out above.
Note the rise of 17.1% the year before Livingstone became responsible was what the civil servants did all by themselves as they went from separate Police and Fire precepts to the GLA.