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BORIS JOHNSON: Not a penny more for Londoners to pay

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:57 07 September 2010

Victory! My first budget was approved by the London Assembly this week, withstanding the forensic scrutiny of some and swatting away the tired apathy of others. So I m pleased to say that from April, Londoners will not pay a penny more in the GLA share of

Victory! My first budget was approved by the London Assembly this week, withstanding the forensic scrutiny of some and swatting away the tired apathy of others.

So I'm pleased to say that from April, Londoners will not pay a penny more in the GLA share of the council tax than last year. For the previous eight, they were subjected to continuous, record increases to fund Ken Livingstone's extravagance.

Now the King Newt has been scraped from the shoe of Londoners, we no longer need £20,000 to spend on a lunch with a South American kleptocrat. We no longer need £3 million to fund a Pyongyang style freesheet, spreading the good news to the masses. This money will now go towards improving local parks, trees and putting more police on public transport.

During the budget debate, my Labour tormentors proudly proclaimed the former Mayor saved more money than I have. My question to them is this: ''If Mr Livingstone saved so much, why on earth did the council tax keep going up? Where did the savings go?''

We are making the savings necessary to keep the council tax frozen, and protect and enhance frontline services. This budget delivers £6 million for Priority Parks, a scheme to upgrade at least 10 local parks across London.

It delivers over 500 police officers for public transport, the 24 hour Freedom Pass, retrofitting programmes and more affordable housing.

Underlying it is my vision of a London which battles through the immediate economic strife, and emerges prosperous in the future. A city where the quality of life is vastly enhanced for those from Tottenham to Twickenham, where young people from every background can flourish and which remains the envy of the world.

Boris Johnson

Conservative Mayor of London, City Hall

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