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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 19:06 GMT
Ken's draft budget finally agreed
Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone has touted the budget as his greenest yet
Ken Livingstone will have more than 300 to spend from the average London council tax-payer now his budget has been agreed by the London Assembly.

The 5.3% increase on the precept will amount to an extra 15 per year on an average Band D property.

London's mayor has touted the 2007/8 budget, which subsidises free travel for under-18s, as his greenest yet.

But London Assembly Conservatives have criticised his budget for not promoting greater efficiency at City Hall.

In total, Ken Livingstone's budget is just under 11bn - a rise of 5.3%.

Above inflation rises

There were no amendments to his budget, as it did not get the two-thirds majority in the London Assembly needed to change it.

"Today's budget has seen free bus travel for under-18s safeguarded for now but there are some members of the London Assembly who seem to want to abolish anything that is free," he said.

"Free school milk, free entry to museums, the Freedom Pass and now free bus travel for under-18s - anything that is free gets threatened."

But London Assembly members passed a motion condemning what they call "Ken's above inflation rises".

"While we support increased funding to put more police on London's streets, Ken Livingstone could and should curb his enthusiasm for propaganda and profligacy at City Hall," said Mike Tuffrey from the London Assembly Liberal Democrats.

"The Mayor's double whammy of above-inflation rises in council tax and public transport fares will hit the poorest Londoners hardest."




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