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.
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.
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.