Monday, October 05, 2009
London at the Tory vanguard
Boris Johnson's mayoralty always looked like acting as a prototype for a future Tory government.
His proposed £5bn of cuts to London's budget through "efficiencies" looks impressive. How will it be delivered, if it actually can be?
What will he cut if the flagship projects remain? Delaying pollution curbs by implementing the low emission zone late? What about cutting London's income by scrapping the western extension of the congestion charge? That might not be legal or advisable. What about wasting money by getting rid of bendy buses - adding 12% to costs? That won't help,
He might take the headlines by freezing the mayor's portion of Londoners' council tax - but putting up fares on the tube and buses will impact Londoners pockets on a daily basis.
The cuts sound impressive, yet there is little in actual detail from Johnson. Much like David Cameron, he is able to make bold statements, yet founders on the detail. Londoners will want to know what BJ actually wants to do.