Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Greens Go Cheap

Unless you are paying council tax in London. At last week's budget setting meeting the Green Members invited the Assembly to note a paper which outlined the deal they had done with Livingstone to support his proposal to raise the council tax precept by 5.3%. This included an extra £47m to be spent on green initiatives - and no questions asked about the rest of the budget. Here is their letter to the Mayor, closing the deal.

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your detailed response to the budget priorities we have put forward.

We said that we needed to be satisfied that your budget for 2007 / 08 would set London on course to tackle climate change.

In the light of the funding package and other commitments proposed, we are satisfied that your budget and other associated plans (especially the Climate Change Action Plan) make up a serious framework to address climate change in London, and deserve our support.

This support for your draft budget 2007 / 08 is given on the clear understanding that it will not lead to an increase in the council tax precept of more than 29p a week for a band D tax payer.

We look forward to real progress over the next year and beyond in meeting the huge challenge posed by climate change, and the delivery of other important projects which will make London a safer and healthier city.

Yours Sincerely

Jenny Jones AM and Darren Johnson AM
Green Party Group in the London Assembly

Whether or not you view the spending as desirable, it is in addition to Livingstone's existing proposals, and raises the cost of London Government - now up by 147% since May 2000 -still further, and illustrates the cost disadvantages of coalitions created by proportional representation.


weggis said...

So you prefer the system that gave us Gordon Brown??

This is small fry compared to him!!

Roger Evans said...

True, Gordy is very costly, but he's more ambitious and he's been around longer.

If he was in coalition with the Greens or the Lib Dems he would be costing us even more as we paid for their wish lists as well. And we might well get to experience that if the current opinion polls represent voting intentions accurately (with the Lib Dems anyway).

Anonymous said...

But Roger the Lib Dems at City Hall were proposing an increase half as large as Ken's - with for added value far more 'green' type measures than the Green Party themselves extracted from the Mayor.

So the motto is vote Lib Dem, avoid excessive tax rises AND get a sustainable London.

Neil Reddin said...


Sorry - I was just gagging on my cornflakes.

Vote Lib Dem ... avoid excessive tax rises? Or just get less bad tax rises?

Alternatively - vote Conservative - get no tax rises! (Per Roger & Co's alternative budget.)

Neil Reddin said...

I think the case needs to be made more strongly against the presumption that proportional representation encompasses "fair" voting systems in contrast to FPTP.

One minor party, with only 7.67 - 8.59% of the vote, acting as the key arbiter on the budget is hardly "fair" in my book.

weggis said...

The present government has a mandate from less than one quarter of the electorate. Is that Fair?