How Boris is over-spending and borrowing too much at City Hall


by Sunny Hundal    
8:40 am - October 20th 2011

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Boris Johnson has frequently complained of Labour’s “over-spending” in his columns for the Telegraph. He has supported this government’s austerity measures in the name of reducing the deficit.

But the media has consistently given him an easy ride over his own over-spending and borrowing for pet projects.

And figures out this week reveal that Boris will borrow over £100 million for his projects.

In June this year Boris unveiled the new Routemaster buses, after running a crusade against the bendy buses. How much did they cost? £7.8 million for just five of them.

Worse, Boris is obsessed by a plan to have a cable car linking the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Victoria Dock. The project was originally projected at ‘no cost to the taxpayer’.

But its cost has ballooned to £60m and Boris hasn’t found a way to cover them. So taxpayers will have to bail him out.

Boris has another pet project called the Outer London Fund, which helps constituents to came out to vote for him.

And where does the money for all this extra spending come from? Increased borrowing.

This week, City Hall’s pre-budget report found that: “the business case for borrowing £40 million for the Outer London Fund has not yet been made.”

So what’s the total?

Boris Johnson’s administration plans to borrow £110 million, using up all the GLA’s current borrowing capabilities.

This will lead to an annual cost of £10 million in interest and loan repayments.

How can Boris preach to others about fiscal responsibility while he maxes out London’s credit card for his own pet projects, instead of reducing travel fares?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


The cycle hire scheme was originally supposed to be taxpayer-cost-neutral, but that got dropped a while back. You just can’t trust what he says, really.

2. Nikki Darkheart

Shocking – i read he borrowed 3 million to spend on top hats for bus drivers.

3. Jessy Soft Rod

No -it was 4 million on champagne for his butler’s cat.

We should borrow more money – we can’t afford to pay back what Labour borrowed to pay for lavish welfare anyway so we might as well go the whole hog and go down the tubes in style.

4. Eugine Handfull

I have never heard such rubbish – his butler’s cat doesn’t like champagne. Little Peepoo prefers Port.

Bozza still wants his new airport, too, despite the potentially explosive problem out there in the Thames estuary:

http://zelo.tv/oxgAYv

So that’s another 40 billion.

@3 – Lavish, so lavish that the rates are miserly compared to civilised countries. Oh, wait…

So he is, erm, doing the kind of Keynsian stuff you like…?

Vote Boris!!

So he is, erm, doing the kind of Keynsian stuff you like…?

Err no, I’d rather travel fares were lower for Londoners than spending money on silly cable cars.

9. Leon Wolfson

@7 – No, there has to be a benefit from it, not spent on pork-barrel projects to ensure relection!

@ 9:

Actually I was under the impression that Keynes thought anything was OK as long as it kept people in employment. Paying people to dig ditches and then fill them in being one example that springs to mind.

@7. Boris clearly practices Keynes which is all well and good but then to preach austerity in the same breath is just rank hypocracy .. Then again Boris is about as deep as puddle!!

The fares for transport in London have been astronomical for decades and I heard Ken justifying his increases all the time when he was mayor. This is something that needs some serious graphs to see the actual differences between KL’s time and what Borris has been doing and proposing. If the difference is only small percentage points then the headline of this article is a distraction. London is faced with masive population growth, and these days, everything costs billions. I don’t like the ”user pays” concept myself.
They run their train services differently in Greece, where fares are about half of what it costs the trains to run.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Boris Watch

    How Boris is overspending and borrowing money at City Hall http://t.co/YCYdmyBH

  2. MayorWatch

    How Boris is overspending and borrowing money at City Hall http://t.co/YCYdmyBH

  3. sunny hundal

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  4. sunny hundal

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  5. Claudio Procida

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  6. Claudio Procida

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  7. Gods & Monsters

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  8. Gael

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  9. richardbrennan

    How #Boris is overspending and borrowing money at City Hall | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/wacWlsNJ via @libcon

  10. Barnet Mags

    How Boris is overspending and borrowing money at City Hall http://t.co/YCYdmyBH

  11. Owen Blacker

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  12. Christopher Jennings

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  13. malcolm

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  14. malcolm

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  15. Kayleigh Anne

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  16. Alex Braithwaite

    How Boris is overspending and borrowing money at City Hall | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/91Vin8Zd via @libcon

  17. Lynda Constable

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  18. M Francois-Cerrah

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  19. Mark Jasper

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  20. Anna Jay

    Fuck Boris Johnson right in the ear http://t.co/h6nKhBN9

  21. One Eye Grey

    @mondoagogo Fuck Boris Johnson right in the ear http://t.co/c4Ty1cHa – rt's on general principles. IN THE EAR!

  22. Janet Graham

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  23. Janet Graham

    Boris is borrowing £40m alone for 'Outer London fund', which makes no business sense. Why doesn't media question him? http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  24. Guy Manchester

    I find this particularly irksome & I dont even live in London: "How Boris is overspending and borrowing money". http://t.co/mBA3y5c1

  25. ross ofcourse

    I find this particularly irksome & I dont even live in London: "How Boris is overspending and borrowing money". http://t.co/mBA3y5c1

  26. David Stockdale

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  27. bee hive

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  28. Ged Bell

    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  29. Annette Carter

    How Boris is over-spending and borrowing too much at City Hall …: Err no, I'd rather travel fares were lower f… http://t.co/qm7xXElk

  30. leejasper

    bee hive
    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/IY2BuaJx

  31. leejasper

    Boris borrows to fund his Mayoral vanity projects but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/IY2BuaJx

  32. Demsey

    Boris borrows to fund his Mayoral vanity projects but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/IY2BuaJx

  33. Soton_Unite

    How Boris is over-spending and borrowing too much at City Hall | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6rHYEFEr Boris and Royston. Maxing out

  34. koreen maxim

    bee hive
    Boris Johnson lectures on "Labour's mess" but will borrow over £100m for his pet projects http://t.co/IY2BuaJx

  35. Politics Live blog: Thursday 20 October | Letter Format

    [...] • Sunny Hundal during LiberalConspiracy says Boris Johnson is regulating borrowing to criticism in… Boris Johnson has frequently complained of Labour’s “over-spending” in his columns for a Telegraph. He has upheld this government’s purgation measures in a name of shortening a deficit. [...]

  36. Politics Live blog: Thursday 20 October | | RESUME PORTALRESUME PORTAL

    [...] • Sunny Hundal during LiberalConspiracy says Boris Johnson is regulating borrowing to criticism in… Boris Johnson has frequently complained of Labour’s “over-spending” in his columns for a Telegraph. He has upheld this government’s purgation measures in a name of shortening a deficit. [...]

  37. Politics Live blog: Thursday 20 October | Nurses Aide

    [...] • Sunny Hundal at LiberalConspiracy says Boris Johnson is using borrowing to fund lavish spending … Boris Johnson has frequently complained of Labour’s “over-spending” in his columns for the Telegraph. He has supported this government’s austerity measures in the name of reducing the deficit. [...]

  38. sunny hundal

    @timmontgomerie @MayorWatch It comes down to how we define competent. You're awfully quiet about his massive deficits http://t.co/0ZMCtX4K

  39. Three months later, Boris fails riot-hit businesses after offer | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] the Mayor’s growing reputation for money mismanagement is showing itself [...]

  40. Round-the-world ticket now cheaper than a London travelcard | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] than focus on reducing transport fares however – Boris is instead spending millions on his expensive pet projects. [...]

  41. sunny hundal

    @chadnoble you should put that point to Boris! http://t.co/Kz0MhjOc

  42. maxlawsontin

    How Boris is over-spending and borrowing too much at City Hall | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/zJE2Cxl2

  43. Thomas Leadbetter

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/10/20/how-boris-is-overspending-and-borrowing-money-at-city-hall/





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