27 January 2004
At the London Assembly's Budget debate today the Green Party Group will be presenting a radical alternative to the Mayor's budget which would bring about massive improvements in the quality of life, whilst cutting rather than increasing council tax.
Darren Johnson, Leader of the Green Party Group said, "We are proposing to double spending on pedestrian and cycling schemes, double spending on the bus improvement programme and double the environment budget. Moreover, by slashing spending on roadbuilding and propaganda and increasing congestion charging revenue, this budget will achieve that without excessive cost to the council tax payer."
Whereas Mayor Livingstone is proposing an increase of 44p per week for council tax payers, the Green budget would actually result in a rebate of 3p per week.
Jenny Jones, the Green Party Group's Transport spokesperson commented, "The Mayor is squandering millions on roadbuilding and road widening but not putting enough into small-scale schemes like 20mph zones and safe routes to school which can really make a difference to people's lives."
Noel Lynch, Green Assembly Member and a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority commented, "By cutting waste and bureaucracy at the centre we can put more of the police budget into community policing and ensure a visible presence at the neighbourhood level."
"When it comes to spin and propaganda, the Mayor throws money around like there's no tomorrow. But when it comes to real initiatives to improve people's quality of life, the money just isn't there," Darren concludes.
The Mayor is currently spending £2.8 million per year on the Londoner newspaper which he sends to every household. Meanwhile, he is spending only £1.3 million on protecting London's environment, in spite of having legal responsibilities to implement strategies on air quality, waste, biodiversity and noise and to reduce London's greenhouse gas emissions.
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