Responding to today’s Budget, Ken Livingstone said; “George Osborne’s Tory budget a bad for London and dream come true for Tory Mayor Boris Johnson. After years of campaigning for a tax cut for the super-rich at the expense of ordinary Londoners Boris Johnson has finally got his way.
“The winners from today’s budget are the super-rich and their champion Tory Boris Johnson, the losers are the majority of Londoners.
“When it comes to the big issues that affect millions of people in London, Tory Boris Johnson has failed to stand up for Londoners time and time again. The government’s economic policies have failed in London.
“What we needed was a Budget for jobs and growth which focused every penny available on helping hard-pressed families on middle and low incomes. At a time when people on middle and low incomes are being squeezed, seeing their tax credits cut and when one in four young Londoners are out of work, it is completely the wrong priority to cut taxes for people earning over £150,000.”
London loses out from the budget:
* The funding for broadband is a recycled announcement from the Autumn Statement. There is no guarantee of funding for London, and assuming it gets the same share as other cities, it will get just £10 million.
* There is still no funding for the river crossings or the Northern Line extensions that the Mayor and the Chancellor promised in the Autumn Statement.
* There is no new investment in London’s rail network, despite this being trailed in the speech.
* The fact that Boris Johnson needs to ask the Government for money for cycling shows that his Cycling Superhighways just are not safe. The money for safer junctions for cyclists, while welcome, is barely half of what is needed. According to internal documents from Transport for London, it will cost £29.5 million to make these ill-designed routes safe.
* The £110 million package for London is a fraction of what is needed. This investment is less than 0.05% of the total London economy.
Tory policies that will come into effect at this budget:
1. Altogether the Institute for Fiscal Studies has previously shown that London is the hardest-hit region in the whole country. George Osborne did nothing to reverse that today.
2. Changes to the eligibility rules for the Working Tax Credit, first announced by George Osborne in the 2010 Spending Review, will come into force. The change means that couples will need to increase the number of hours they work from a minimum of 16 to 24 hours per week or they will lose all their working tax credit.
3. This means that a couple earning less than around £17,700 will lose £3,870 per year if they cannot extend their hours sufficiently. In London, 46,205 households, with a total of 111,190 children, will be affected by this change.
4. Cuts to the eligibility for the family element of tax credits – eligibility will be reduced for up to 83,000 families in London with incomes of between £26,000 and £40,000 per year, each of whom will lose £545
5. It has been estimated that the average family with children will lose £530 from the Government’s changes that are set to come into force this month.
6. In London, 671,010 households containing over 65s, and 207,200 households containing over 80s, were helped by the Winter Fuel Payment in 2010-11, which the Tory-led Government has cut from this winter.
7. The Tory-led Government’s mistaken VAT rise is costing London families with children an average of £450 per year.
Labour’s plan for jobs and growth in London would:
1. Create up to 11,500 jobs for young people and build 5,000 new homes.
2. Bring forward investment projects like new school buildings.
3. Temporarily reverse the Tory-led Government’s VAT rise – a £450 boost for families with children.
4. Cut VAT on home improvements to 5% for a year.
5. Give up to 334,000 small firms a tax break to take on extra workers.Other news from London Assembly Labour