Letter in the Guardian Newspaper 2nd May 2012
I worked in Transport for London finance for over 20 years until January, producing the management reports that were used to run the underground. In my opinion Ken Livingstone has provided an accurate assessment of TfL’s finances (Editorial, 1 May). His fares cut is entirely affordable. Many people cannot believe that Boris Johnson has built up such large surpluses. Why would he not use them to cut fares in an election year? My guess is that it’s all about the deal Boris did with his government colleagues. It’s an open secret that the Conservatives would like to slash the subsidy to TfL, on top of the £2.2bn cut happening over the next few years. But that will only work with a friendly mayor who is willing to massively increase fares – and Ken’s election would stop that plan dead. Based on my knowledge of TfL’s finances, I have no doubt that Ken could both cut fares and improve services, without reducing investment. Boris’s needless and excessive fare increases have not provided extra investment – indeed that has fallen during his term and much has been wasted.
TfL finance manager 1991-2012
For background and context on Ken’s Fare Cuts including support from 11 leading economists at London Universities see Ken’s campaign site;