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Council Tax – letter from Boris

February 1, 2012

Dear Paul,

Now more than ever, the responsibility of any Mayor is to treat every penny of Londoners’ money with care. Because it’s not my money. It’s yours.

And it will only ever be used on the things that take London forward. To invest in transport infrastructure, put more police on the streets, make the Olympics a success and build more affordable housing.

Anything spare should always be passed back to Londoners.

When I was elected in 2008, Londoners were tired of 8 years of successive council tax hikes.

I promised to end the culture of waste created by Ken Livingstone and keep taxes low.

I kept this promise. We’ve frozen our share of council tax every year. And we’ve done this by ruthlessly ferreting out waste.

  • We no longer spend £10,000 on a subscription to the Morning Star.
  • We no longer spend £3m a year on a personal propaganda sheet for the Mayor.
  • And we haven’t spent £20,000 on a lunch for Hugo Chavez. Or £30,000 on a trip to Cuba.

By working over the last three years to turn around London’s finances, I am able – for the first time in the history of the mayoralty – to cut my share of council tax.

The choice at this election could not be clearer. My record shows that, whenever possible, we keep taxes and charges low.

  • We scrapped Ken Livingstone’s plans for a £25 tax on family vehicles.
  • We scrapped the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge, providing relief to small businesses.
  • We extended the Freedom Pass to 24 hour operation. And we put Oyster on national rail, leading to cheaper fares for many.
  • And we’ve done this in the teeth of a recession, whilst increasing police numbers and protecting the investment that will help our city grow once more – providing jobs and prosperity.

Ken Livingstone’s record shows he puts up taxes and charges at every opportunity. We couldn’t afford it during the good times, and we certainly can’t afford it now.

His Labour allies on the London Assembly have already voted against a budget that freezes council tax. Next week, they will be asked to vote to cut council tax. I will urge them to do this, and I urge you to join me in sending them a message to vote the right way.

Please visit:

Best wishes,


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

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