Thursday, 31 March 2016

Pity the poor landowners.

From The Guardian:

Zac Goldsmith has promised to keep spending on London’s rail and roads while pushing up fares if elected mayor, in a transport manifesto that attempted to paint a choice between Labour’s “experiment” in freezing fares, or delivering new infrastructure.

Launching the manifesto in Ilford on Wednesday morning, the Conservative candidate pledged to “get London building” by pushing ahead with projects including further tube upgrades, Crossrail 2 and a southern extension to the London Overground, which he claimed could be jeopardised by Labour hopeful Sadiq Khan’s proposed fare freeze. Goldsmith said that keeping fares at current levels would create a £1.9bn black hole* in the capital’s investment plans.

While younger Londoners will see fares rise, Goldsmith promised that he would keep the freedom pass, allowing over-60s to travel free, throughout the mayoral term – a pledge also made by Khan.

Goldsmith said 270,000 homes and 250,000 jobs would be unlocked by transport investment, most of which is already planned. He said: “It’s not just vital to keeping London moving, it’s also key to unlocking the land to build the homes London so badly needs.

* The £1.9 bn figure is a wild exaggeration and Goldsmith has already used that for one shock-horror headline, saying that if fares were capped, Council Tax would have to go up. That's the sensible way of doing it, of course, it mean average Council Tax increases of about £30 each year IIRC, so big deal.

But to sum up: Goldsmith expects working age commuters to pay more so that landowners can sell their land for higher prices (now referred to as 'unlocking' for some unfathomable reason). Pensioners are being bought off with their Freedom Passes (Heaven forbid their Council Tax goes up).


DBC Reed said...

Your Bribery label is to the point.Rather than trying to make a case politically, shouldn't we be making a legal case to the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards that the Homeownerists are corrupting the democratic process? (I know that this is not a parliamentary election but the principle applies.)