|London, 4 July 2000.
For immediate release.
As the recently elected Mayor of London gets to grips with various problems facing the capital, Red Ken argues that any subsidy paid by Londoners to the rest of the country must stop.
Mr Livingstone is, of course, quite happy for those who come from outside London to subsidise councils such as Westminster with rip off parking charges and the proposed "ring of steel" £5 toll to enter Central London.
The Association of British Drivers has no argument with people who seek a fair deal, but takes great exception to such a comment from a publicity seeker who is happy to allow car drivers to subsidise every government spending department.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory explains:
"Each year this country's motorists pay out £36 billion to the Treasury in taxes and duties, of which less than 20% is re-invested in transport spending. Londoners pay some of the highest prices for petrol in the country, and will face further financial penalties under Red Ken's rule as Mr Livingstone is a self-confessed anti-car extremist. Such hypocrisy is breathtaking."
ABD Environment Spokesman Bernard Abrams continues:
"With air quality across the country improving rapidly since 1991, and the planet now in global cooling, lame excuses from the environmental lobby no longer wash. We have been told there would be no more spin, just as before the last election we were told there would be no increase in taxation. Tony Blair's comments about motoring taxes paying for essential services is laughable in this context. Isn't a £30 billion subsidy on top of our income tax and NI contributions more than enough?"
The ABD calls for fair treatment for all, Londoners included, and an end to the greed of local and national politicians who see the car as a cash cow and use any flag of convenience to justify that greed.
If Mr Blair's government and Mr Livingstone’s GLC reincarnation are too arrogant to listen, the ABD further calls on this country's 25 million motorists to give them a good kick in the ballots.