John Biggs: We need economic prosperity

By Jon Massey on December 4, 2013 1:15 PM |

By John Biggs

johnbiggs142WEBBY.jpgWhile the rest of you think of that long-awaited break, involving time with the family, excess eating (for some, excess drinking too), think of me, huddled over budget reports.

It is in the nature of my job that the key work event in December is a draft budget, and the consideration of alternatives.

That's what I am paid for. But don't worry too much - I get some time off too.
In the next few days we expect to hear about next year's fare rises.

I suspect they will rise with inflation, maybe slightly higher. In researching this, I discovered something the other day that not many of you will know.

In six years under the "low tax", "value for money" Mayor of London Boris Johnson, fares have risen by more, in both cash and real (after inflation) terms than in eight years under the "high tax", "spendthrift" Ken Livingstone.

It's a funny old world as they say.

But high fares mean that Londoners are in many cases even more in need of that elusive pay rise just to stand still when it comes to the cost of living.

We need economic growth in our city and so it is good to hear that it is finally happening - although I think we know it is benefiting some more than others.

This month is, of course, 31 days of goodwill. So season's greetings to you all. This has been a lively year for me. But next year will be livelier. Bring it on.

■ John Biggs is London Assembly Member for City and East

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