"Boris Johnson's claim that his swingeing fare attacks on Londoners are due to Ken Livingstone's 'largesse' is totally false and a transparent attempt to pass the buck for the costs of his own wrong policies and waste, including abandoning the charge on gas-guzzlers costing between £30 million and £50 million a year, abandoning the cheap oil deal with Venezuela worth £16 million a year, and the possible dropping of the congestion charge zone in Kensington and Chelsea which would throw away even more money.
Cavalier future plans of the Boris Johnson administration would cost even more, such as £100 million for a new 'routemaster' bus. London has a Mayor who transfers millions of pounds from ordinary Londoners who use public transport to drivers of gas guzzlers and residents of Kensington and Chelsea."
"Livingstone's claims are an attempt to re-write history to justify his mistakes. We are delivering £1.6 billion of savings from TfL's budget, and ensuring value for money for Londoners. Ken's gimmicks cost over £84 million this year and created a funding gap that threatened investment in London's transport. For him to try to offest this against his derided deal with Chavez or the hated £25 congestion charge, both of which contributed to his downfall, does not stand up.
"The agreement Ken signed with Venezuela stipulated that money given to London that was unspent, as several million was, must be returned. We will be delivering half priced travel for Londoners on income support next year, budgeted at around £7 million and paid for by us, not Venezuela's poor. Under Ken, some £8 million was wasted on the C02 charge that no-one wanted, with a further £10m saved by not going ahead. Then there is the £30 million squandered on the West London Tram that never got built.
"Going forward, this fares package will plug the gap left by the last administration and restore the stability that will enable the upgrade of the transport system to continue. We will be looking at the costs of the transport improvements that the mayor has committed to, including the new Routemaster, in the next budget round and will set out plans for funding at that time."
I predictd a row, but not a day-long brawl. Meanwhile, the Troll has steamed in. Go on, my son.