The Thick of It


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Boris hits Londoners in the pocket - again

Boris Johnson's increase to bus and tube fares was widely reported yesterday. His second successive above inflation rises to fares seem to have woken Londoners up to the stark reality that having a clown as mayor is far from funny.

Back in 2008 many Londoners might have thought that electing Johnson was a "funny" risk they could afford. The reaction to this year's fare increases as the city went back to work showed that voters now see that their mayor doesn't have their best interests at heart. He has denied himself millions in revenue by both scrapping the western extension to the Congestion Charge and unnecessarily spurned cash in scrapping bendy buses. We are being asked to pay more for less. An Oyster pay as you go bus journey now costs one third more than when Johnson took office. Increasing pay as you go fares disproportionally hits the poorest, those who can't afford to shell out for annual or monthly tickets.

Johnson doesn't care that he has put ordinary Londoners out of pocket in a recession. Those most affected probably didn't vote for him anyway. As Tory Troll has pointed out, Johnson's tone is very different when offering words of support to the bankers who paid for his mayoral campaign.

Boris campaigned to"stretch the taxpayer pound to give Londoners more bang for their buck " This is less bank and more buck.Will this finally awaken Londoners to the true cost of voting Conservative? A vote your pocket cannot afford.

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