Delivering what he proclaimed as his ‘pay-off line’ during his brief appearance at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham a few minutes ago, Boris confirmed that the GLA’s share of Londoners’ Council Tax would be frozen for next year, as many had been expecting it to be.

He added that when people were feeling the pinch of the credit crunch – caused by the bankers he’d defended earlier in his speech – the last thing they needed was for more money to be taken away from them.

It’s interesting that this argument didn’t persuade him not to raise transport fares by 6 to 11% a few weeks ago.

He claimed today’s announcement was the most fundamental illustration of Conservatives taking action in government, and maybe he has a point. By taking disproportionate sums of money from public transport users in order to keep Council Tax down, rejecting the option of spreading the pain relatively fairly among all Londoners in favour of penalising those using public transport, Boris is benefiting those in suburbia with big houses and cars, who could best afford to pay more, at the expense of those living in poverty and reliant on the buses to get around.

And of course, it is the former type of Londoner who voted to elect Boris in May. A ‘pay-off line’ indeed.

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