Boris Johnson has today made statements in the House of Commons to justify extending an increase in council tax in London and an expanded congestion charge zone.
They are complete lies.
He has claimed a fares freeze costing £640 million over four years has “bankrupted” TfL rather than a £2 billion+ reduction in fare income since the pandemic begun and lockdown was enforced.
That £640 million figure over four years is also less than cuts of £700 million a year to TfL that he himself agreed in 2015 as Mayor of London.
It also ignores that when Boris Johnson left the role as Mayor TfL had an annual deficit of £1.4 billion, which had reduced to £200 million.
In addition, Government recently made the decision to retain all taxes from London drivers obtained through Vehicle Excise Duty and NOT permit it to be spent on maintaining London roads.
Alongside Johnson in lying today is Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, who earlier this year was found to have made an illegal decision which allowed Tory party donor, developer and former publisher of the Daily Express paper Richard Desmond out of paying £45 million. Desmond had gave money to the Conservative party months before.
They’ve both joined Shaun Bailey in issuing lies about funding and who is making decisions on the congestion charge.
The strategy now is clear – hope enough people are completely ignorant of facts and bash cities in the hopes it plays well in rural areas. It doesn’t matter if economic damage results. Power is all that seems to matter.
You may wonder why I’m covering this issue so much. Well, firstly because of the huge impact and second, it’s one of most transparent lies from senior politicians or those looking to stand for office I’ve seen. They are treating the public as complete and utter morons. I don’t care who or what party acts like that – if they do it then it needs highlighting. It’s rotten.
UPDATE: A new poll just out shows the public are not falling for it.
Labour have opened up possibly their biggest ever lead. Murmurs from many Tories are emerging about how unhappy they are with how the top brass are playing this – with a chance cllrs and MPs could lose many seats in future – let alone in next year’s mayoral election.
Westminster Voting Intention (London):
LAB: 53% (+3)
CON: 26% (-3)
LDM: 12% (=)
GRN: 6% (=)
— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) October 21, 2020
The more lies are pushed, the worse the numbers get for Bailey and the Conservatives. This helps explain why Government want to strip power. If you can’t win in an election, just take power?