Boris steps up struggle over Londoners’ wallets

Boris Johnson is promising to cut council tax by ten per cent over the next four years, escalating the battle over which candidate will leave Londoners 'better off'.

The phrase lay at the heart of Ken Livingstone's mayoral election manifesto, in which the Labour candidate claimed voting for him would make Londoners "better off by £1,000 or more".

Today Boris' manifesto on cutting waste proposes the biggest ever cut in the mayoral share of council tax, in a move Tories insist will leave 'all Londoners better off with Boris'.

"This is a fully funded promise," the Conservative candidate said.

"It does not threaten investment. It is deliverable and we will deliver it by sensible cost-effective and responsible government for London."

In his first term in City Hall Boris cut council tax by 16% in real terms. The Conservatives said he had freed up £3.5 billion for services and cutting council tax, compared to the £964 increase in council tax implemented by Ken.

"We have just learned that the former mayor used his corporate credit card to buy £6,000 worth of booze, including six bottles of cognac," Boris added.

"We have stopped that culture of excess, we have frozen council tax year after year, and by stopping the trajectory of Ken Livingstone's council tax increases we have effectively already saved Londoners £445."

Labour's campaign proposes cutting tube fares by seven per cent, helping households cut their energy bills by over £150 and taking action to cut rents via a non-profit lettings agency.

These steps, together with loans to cut childcare costs and the reinstatement of an educational maintenance allowance, would assist Londoners by up to £1,000 each, Ken claims.