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George Galloway: ‘Bullingdon budget to hit London’s poor’

October 15, 2009
Boris Johnson's transport hikes will hit London's poor the hardest

Boris Johnson's transport hikes will hit London's poor the hardest

Reacting to the news that London Mayor Boris Johnson is to hike fares in London even though inflation is falling, Respect MP George Galloway said:

“The average increase of 3.9 percent in fares is bad enough and will hit working people across London.

“But the true impact of these rises is even more pernicious. The cost of a £1 bus ride is to go up by a staggering 20 percent. The poorest Londoners use buses the most.

“This extortionate increase will be felt particularly in Tower Hamlets – which is fast becoming an unemployment blackspot.

“The increase in the cost of a zone one tube journey will also hit those, such as part-time or contract workers, disproportionately.

“Only an Old Etonian who spent his youth in an elitist Oxford drinking club could come up with a plan that makes the poor pay, while scrapping sound environmental policies such as charging gas-guzzling vehicles appropriately.

“One reason for these increases on transport costs for the poor is to pay for the black hole created by Johnson abandoning the enlightened policy of the previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, to give transport advice to the Venezuelan capital Caracas in return for below cost fuel. Another is the disaster of the PPP scheme which Gordon Brown inflicted on London as chancellor.

“London now has a transport plan for Belgravia, not for Bethnal Green. And it’s an indication of what we could expect from a Tory government of Old Etonians and millionaires.

“We’ll be resisting that in east London, where people will have the chance to vote for progressive policies, not privatisation – in either its Tory or New Labour form – at the next local and general elections.”

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