What the autumn statement means for Londoners

For Londoners today’s Autumn Statement means

• Rising travelcard costs and no end in sight for farepayers. Only Ken will cut fares and set a course that ensures a fairer deal for Londoners.

• Tory Mayor Boris Johnson has failed to get a decent settlement for London out of the Autumn Statement. He has been awarded 4 out of 40 projects for the Infrastructure Fund lower than almost every other English region. Of the 4 projects that have been announced, only two are actually funded.

• George Osborne’s remarks about a Silvertown river crossing and a Northern line extension are little more than warm words. There is little or no detail on how the projects would be delivered or funded.

• The Government should take up Labour’s five point plan for growth and jobs – which will give up to 334,000 London firms a tax break to take on more workers, create 11,500 jobs for young Londoners and build 5,000 new homes.

More Tory fare rises

Today’s fares announcement by the Tory Mayor and Tory Chancellor means rising travelcard costs and no end in sight for farepayers:

• This is the fourth consecutive year of inflation-busting fares under the Tory mayor

• Fares in London have risen faster than anywhere else in the country during tough

economic times. Boris Johnson should use the £729 million of surplus money in his TfL budget to keep fares low.

• If Ken is elected Mayor in May 2012, in October 2012 he will cut fares, then freeze them the whole of the following year and ensure that they rise by no more than inflation in the following two years.

London’s economy in worse state

The London economy is in a worse state than it has been for more than 15 years

• 410,000 people are now unemployed in London, almost one in ten of the population. Unemployment in London is now higher than it has been at any other point since 1994. According to the latest estimates from ONS, more than one in four young people in London is unemployed.

• Only 56 affordable homes were built in London in the last 6 months, and the number of housing starts in the last quarter went down by more than 50% on the previous year.

• Between January and September, the number of 18-24 year olds on the dole for more than 6 months has doubled in more than half of London’s boroughs.

• A survey by Travelex yesterday showed that 59% of small and medium sized businesses in London expect to go into a double dip recession.

Infrastructure projects cut

The government is cutting not investing in infrastructure.

• Only 4 out of the 40 infrastructure projects outlined today are in London, less than the 10 in Yorkshire and the Humber, and less than the West Midlands, the North West, the South East and the East of England. This is despite the fact that unemployment is higher in London than anywhere else apart from the North East.

• The Tory-led Government got rid of the London Development Agency as well as agencies to promote tourism and inward investment in London

• And even these 4 are beginning to unravel once the detail emerges:

I. The Northern Line extension is a wish not a commitment. London will get no money from the Government for the Northern Line extension, and no guarantee that it will be allowed to borrow. At the earliest, this project will only begin in mid 2013.(In the Autumn Statement it says “Subject to commitment by April 2013 from a developer to develop the site and make agreed contributions, the Government will consider allowing the Mayor of London and partner authorities to borrow against the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support this scheme.”)

II. If London receives the same as the other super-connected cities – it will get only £2 million of funding next year – 26p for every citizen

III. There are no commitments on where or when new river crossings will be built or how they will be funded. (In the Autumn Statement it says “the Government will work with the Mayor of London and Transport for London to explore options for proposed additional river crossings, for example at Silvertown.”

Child tax credits cut

As a result of George Osborne’s cuts to tax credits:

• 561,900 families in London will lose out as a result of the changes to the child element of the child tax credit

• 323,600 families in London will lose out as a result of the freeze on the couple and lone parent element of the working tax credit.

In 2008 Boris Johnson axed the childcare affordability programme which had delivered affordable childcare for thousands of London children.

Pay freezes

As a result of George Osborne’s further reductions in public sector pay

• 719,000 public sector workers will experience just 1% pay increases in the two years after a pay freeze ending in 2013. This will impoverish well over a million households in London, who will experience falling real pay every year for the lifetime of the Tory-led government

Labour’s 5 point plan in London would:

1. Create up to 11,500 jobs for young people and build 5,000 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