Ken Livingstone and his made up maths really is the gift that keeps on giving.
He claims that his fares policy will “save the average Londoner £1000 over four years”, powerful stuff if true. But let’s look at that claim. There are about 7.5 million people who live in London, about 20% are under 16 and get free travel and about 30% are retired and get a Freedom Pass. That means that 3.25 million working people in the city. I assume that these are the people that Livingstone calls “average Londoners”.
If each of these people will be paying £1000 less under Livingstone’s plan it means a £3.5 billion shortfall in TFL’s income over 4 years. Even using Livingstone’s widely discredited £300 million a year surplus figurewe are left £2.3 billion short.
But that’s not all. There are a million people who commute into London each day, they would also benefit from any fares cut, meaning that TFL would lose revenue from them too, probably taking the shortfall back up to the £3.5 billion figure. Losing that much from the TFL budget would have a massive impact on services and improvements.
So either Livingstone can’t do simple maths or he’s misleading Londoners again. I know what I think.