Wonga is a British internet loans company. If you need a fast loan, you can get one, if you qualify, with the money arriving in your account as quickly as fifteen minutes. Your financial pain is immediately alleviated – for the moment. The kicker is that the annual interest rate can be 4,000%!
Boris knows that if fares are cut, that costs £1.2 billion. Every penny of the London budget has already been accounted for. There is no way of cutting fares that will not cost the voter much more in the end. This has been confirmed by Maria Eagles, Shadow Transport Minister, and Channel 4 FactCheck. (see link) When Ken made the promise of restoring EMA, there was much hollow laughter at City Hall. Same problem. Ken implied that the councils would be forking out, although he hadn’t even asked them. But, said Boris, that means council tax will soar.
Every Londoner should know that as Mayor, the way Ken wasted public money was appalling. Lavish holidays to Havana, (one cost £36K), cash payouts for his pals (Ken changed the rules), check the link for the gory details.
Boris repeatedly said, in his interview with Vanessa Feltz this morning, that he will never make a promise he can’t keep. Boris wants prudent investment like Crossrail, new technology for transport, to cut waste, and spend money on the things that matter, like police on the streets. Help the young as much possible to get work through apprenticeships, work experience, mentoring.
Ken’s approach to the Mayoral election is entirely irresponsible, and don’t get me started on his divide and rule power plays with communities, let alone the scandal of Tower Hamlets. There is no such thing as a free lunch. But Ken quite simply ignores the larger picture of what is best for London and targets a particular group for their vote. Then he offers a bribe, without saying where the money is coming from and without worrying that in the end, it will cost London much much more. If he means to keep the promise at all, mind you. That, in all its stark, seedy, selfishness, is what Boris means by “wonga economics.”
The podcast of the Vanessa Radio Show with Boris Johnson is here.
UPDATE: Channel 4 Factcheck checked out Ken’s chances of restoring the EMA payment. The result? “At the moment his aspirations rest on a great deal of persuasion and very little certainty.”
Ken has made a great deal of noise that he will restore the EMA, without mentioning it is not within the power of the Mayor of London to do this. It is the government’s decision. Also, it is strange that never once did he vote against tuition fees! Boris did, see the link here.