Labour party mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone attacked rival Boris Johnson’s “high fare” policy while announcing Labour’s plan for jobs and growth in London.
Livingstone joined Labour party leader Ed Miliband and shadow chacellor Ed Balls who condemned the government’s plan to tackle unemployment.
Speaking at the launch in Camden, Ken Livingstone said: “In a city where, disgracefully, one in ten is out of work thanks to the Conservative party’s failed policies we need the plan for jobs and growth that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are proposing.
“Labour’s plan to cut VAT and invest in new jobs would make a real difference, putting the interests of ordinary Londoners first – and I will follow the same course by putting money in peoples’ pockets by cutting fares if I am elected,” he added.
- Read: The battle commences: Boris opens up big lead as London declares allegiance
- Read: Ken wages battle at Labour Party Conference: I’ll knock five per cent off Londoners’ fares
Ed Miliband MP, leader of the Labour Party, said: “These are dangerous times for Britain’s economy and worrying times for millions of London families. Week-by-week, day-by-day, with every downgrade in growth with every new set of unemployment figures, we can see the government’s plan is failing Londoners.
“Only a government which is badly out of touch with what is happening in Britain’s high streets, homes and workplaces would fail to realise that. Today we are calling for an emergency Budget now and a clear five-point plan to create jobs, help struggling families and support small businesses in London.”
Ken has promised to rip up Boris Johnson’s ‘high fare’ policy which has committed Londoners to 20 years of fare increases at two per cent above inflation each year and replace it with a fairer fares package starting with:
• An overall cut in fares for Londoners of 5 per cent in the autumn of 2012
• No further fare rises at all in 2013
• From January 2014 and in subsequent years no fare rises above retail price index inflation.
A recent LondonlovesBusiness.com and ComRes poll revealed that Boris Johnson has an eight-point lead over Ken Livingstone in the 2012 race to be Mayor of London, polling 35 per cent to Ken’s 27 per cent.
The poll data shows Boris has established a strong lead among business leaders, with a nine-point advantage, and he dominates almost every other category of voter.
Labour’s five-point plan pledges to:
-Create up to 11,500 jobs for young people and build 5,000 new homes
-Bring forward investment projects like new school buildings
-Temporarily reverse the Tory-led Government’s VAT rise – a £450 boost for families with children
-Cut VAT on home improvements to 5 per cent for a year
-Give up to 334,000 small firms a tax break to take on extra workers