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A 'Fare Deal' for Londoners

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The problem with politics at the moment is people saying we can't do things.

We can't hold down student fees, we can't hold down VAT, we can't keep EMA.

I don't agree.

More than ever we need to do things that help people ease the burden on their household expenditure and reduce the squeeze the great majority are feeling.

I have been spending a day in every London borough as part of my Tell Ken tour. Across the city, what I hear most about is transport issues - and the spiralling cost of fares.

When I left office a single bus ticket was 90 pence. After this January's record fare rise, a bus fare will be £1.40, up 56% in a four years.

Conservatives, including the current Mayor of London, are happy to call for a tax cut for 1% of Londoners who pay the top rate of tax. Yet the poorest Londoners are seeing their household incomes squeezed year on year.

Progressive politics means fighting for a fairer course. Fares in London are a stealth tax on the majority. They need to be cut. I will cut fares by 5% and then freeze them until 2014.

After that they will rise by no more than inflation. This compares to the existing plan to raise them every year above inflation. Under my Fare Deal, the average Londoner will be £800 better off over the next four years.

The Conservative party cannot decide if their line is to say I will not keep this promise, or to say that this promise will lead to the transport system will fall apart.

But the plan is funded from the annual surplus the Mayor pulls in from Londoners over and above what he budgets for. It is simply the Tories' failure to understand the pressure on ordinary people that has led them to over-tax them.

Tom Watson MP, my running mate Val Shawcross, and other special guests, will rally for the Fare Deal next week. If you agree with a fairer course for London, then join us next Wednesday and help us fight for it.

Throughout this campaign we have tried to find innovative new ways to spread the word about my Fare Deal to all Londoners. Londoners were the first to know about my fares policy, as I announced it to them directly by text message.

Last week, my campaign launched a video setting out our policy, which was sent to 100,000 Londoners. We have also launched a Facebook campaign, which has been viewed by over two million Londoners so far.

I want every Londoner to know that the choice they face at the next election could not be clearer and I want them to know about my Fare Deal. You can find out more here.

I want you to tell your neighbour, your doctor, your newsagent, your taxi driver, your teacher and your family about my Fare Deal - so we can make a real change in London.

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