Why Unison in London is backing Ken and Labour in the elections on 3rd May

From Camden Unison’s Labour Link Officer, Phil Lewis:

We’re Better Off With Ken

In tough times like these, Londoners can’t afford a mayor who is so out of touch that he is raising transport fares, cutting police numbers and thinks it’s okay to have a second job paying £250,000 a year – an amount he calls ‘chicken feed.’

Tory Mayor Boris Johnson and his Tory friends in Downing Street have failed London and failed Londoners.

They promised to cut crime – but instead Boris Johnson admits he has cut 1,700 police officers, making streets in your borough less safe, as violent crimes rise.

They said they cared about outer London – but then made London one of the most expensive cities in the world to get to work by bus, tube and train.

If elected Mayor of London on 3 May, Labour’s Ken Livingstone will:

  • Cut fares by 7% – and scrap the Tory fares rip-off.

FARES FACTS: For the cost of an average annual travel card under Boris Johnson you could go on a round-the-world trip and still have cash left over!

FARES FACTS: A Londoner on minimum wage can spend up to 27% of their take home pay on tube fares. The average Londoner now pays more than a month’s wages for an annual ticket to work .

  • Reverse Boris Johnson’s cuts to police officers to make your streets safer.

CRIME FACTS: To get elected, Boris Johnson promised to slash knife crime. The reality is knife crime has risen since he became Mayor. The number of young victims of knife crime is up since 2008 by a staggering 29%.

CRIME FACTS: Ken Livingstone set up local Safer Neighbourhood Teams in every community in every London Borough. But Boris Johnson has attacked the minimum deployment of neighbourhood teams, saying ‘I have no intention of imposing a one-size-fits-all model across the whole of London’, and describing it as ‘a pointless piece of top-downery’. Every one of these teams had a sergeant under Ken Livingstone. Boris Johnson has cut sergeants from 300 of the 600 teams.

Many boroughs are also seeing cuts of 30% or more in their youth offending teams, 20% in community safety budgets as well as cuts to police numbers. Ken pledges to reverse the police cuts – and tackle key crimes that affect Londoners.

  • Action on Housing

Boris Johnson promised to tackle London’s housing crisis. But the reality is in the past six months, a total of just 56 new affordable houses were started across the whole of London.
London rents are now the highest in Europe – with many Londoners forced to pay more than a third of their income for a roof over their head. Boris Johnson says there’s nothing he can do.

Labour’s Ken Livingstone says: “If elected Mayor in May;  I’ll crack down on rip-off rents and launch a nonprofit lettings agency to improve standards.”“And while building new affordable homes I’ll also launch a campaign for a ‘living rent’ – because I believe no one should pay more than a third of their income on rent.”

HOUSING FACTS: Private rents rose by 12% in London last year. An increasing proportion of all Londoners’ housing no longer meets a decent standard. This is because new homes aren’t being built.

HOUSING FACTS: Despite promises by Boris Johnson to tackle London’s housing crisis, only 56 affordable homes were started in London in the last 6 months, and the number of housing starts in the last quarter went down by more than 50% on the previous year.

  • Putting Londoners first

Labour’s Ken Livingstone says: “I am standing for London Mayor because I care about this city and I cannot stand by in these tough times. “At a time when millions of Londoners are struggling, I do not believe enough is being done to help them. Instead fares are rocketing, police are being cut and young people’s aspirations are being shattered.” Today, one-in-ten Londoners are out-of-work: long-term youth unemployment has doubled in the past year.

“The truth is under Boris Johnson and David Cameron, Londoners are less safe and less well-off. They’ve made things worse, not better by looking after vested interests. “It doesn’t have to be like this. “If I’m elected Mayor, I’ll put ordinary Londoners first and ensure the Mayor is in touch. I’ll protect policing and put money back in the pockets of ordinary Londoners by cutting fares.”

“My kids are growing up in this city now, and I don’t want them living in a city where no one is taking action to put Londoners first.”

LONDON FIRST FACTS: Under Ken, London was the fastest-growing part of the British economy. In 2010 under Boris Johnson it was the slowest growing part of the British economy. By 2008 a little more than 1 in 20 Londoners were unemployed. Now under Boris Johnson, 1 in 10 Londoners is unemployed.

  • Mayor must act now to help thousands excluded from Living Wage

Six years after introducing the first ever London Living Wage, Ken Livingstone has called for the urgent adoption of five measures to boost the incomes of thousands of low paid workers. Ken introduced the London Living Wage in 2005, fulfilling a manifesto promise.

If elected Mayor in 2012 Ken will:∙

1. Make the living wage a condition of procurement, employment and services provided by the Greater London Authority (GLA) group.
2. Reinforce the Living Wage unit within the GLA so that it can provide aid in areas such as the law to unions and other groups campaigning for the Living Wage.
3. Work with the boroughs to adopt it and launch a Living Wage Charter, giving full support to and working with the London Citizens campaign to get private employers to adopt the Charter.
4. Encourage trade union membership in order to fight for decent wages, and a fair deal for London’s workers generally.
5. Launch a campaign for Londoners and visitors to give cash tips to London’s 300,000 restaurant and catering staff, to stop the practice of tips being used to top up wages to reach the minimum wage.

Ken Livingstone said:

“Contrary to many of the predictions when I introduced the first ever London Living Wage many of the biggest employers in the capital have adopted the measure.

“We have proved the London Living Wage does not just make economic sense but it is morally right.

“We cannot accept the huge divisions of wealth and opportunity in the capital and the damage that this causes to the life chances and quality of life for so many Londoners.

“Our goal must be that no Londoner works for anything less than the London Living Wage and that means building on the progress we have made since 2005.

“It is time for the Mayor to lead by example and make the London Living Wage a condition of procurement, employment and services provided by the GLA group. This would bring fair pay to tens of thousands of Londoners and would send a clear message to employers in the public and private sector that fair wages are good for everyone.”

This is why UNISON is backing Ken and Labour for London in May’s elections.

One response to “Why Unison in London is backing Ken and Labour in the elections on 3rd May

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