'The winners are the super-rich, the losers are the majority of Londoners,' says Labour candidate
KEN LIVINGSTONE has attacked yesterday's 'Granny Tax' budget as one that will "hit the poorest and give the most to the richest".
Labour's Mayoral candidate was speaking in Croydon today at an election event attended by party leader Ed Miliband and he was quick to focus on what has become the main taking point of Tory chancellor George Osborne's budget – the diversion of tax funds from old people to the very rich.
Discussion before the budget centred on whether or not chancellor George Osborne would cut tax on earnings of over £150,000 from a marginal rate of 50% to 45%, but it came a surprise that the money to pay for that tax break is to be taken from old age pensioners.
"George Osborne's Tory budget is bad for London and a dream come true for Tory Mayor Boris Johnson," said Livingstone after the budget.
"After years of campaigning for a tax cut for the super-rich at the expense of ordinary Londoners, Boris Johnson has finally got his way. The winners from the budget are the super-rich, the losers are the majority of Londoners."
Pensioners groups were also quick to spot the Robin Hood-in-reverse nature of the budget.
"The money the chancellor is giving away in tax breaks for the richest in society would fund a National Care Service for all those in need," said Dot Gibson of the National Pensioners Convention.
"Pensioners will feel bruised by this Budget."
Livingstone says that if he became Mayor on 3 May, he'd bring in policies that would go some way towards ameliorating the effects of the budget.
"Over a four-year term my Fare Deal will save average London fare-payers £1,000; participating London households will save over £600 in reduced energy bills; downward pressure on rents will be maximised and families with children receiving EMA can get over £1,000 a year per student," he said.
In welcoming the budget, Johnson said that its transport measures "would deliver vital cash for London rail and will allow us to add more carriages to suburban rail, build more river crossings, accelerate broadband and deliver a range of other noticeable improvements in people's lives."
Third candidate Brian Paddick, whose Liberal Democrat party helped write the Granny Tax budget, was also full of praise for its contents.
"You can tell a lot about a party by who they cut taxes for," he said.