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GUMMER: LABOUR DIVIDED ON COSTLY SON OF GLC

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Environment secretary John Gummer has claimed that Labour would demand a 'top up tax' on Londoners to pay for its p...
Environment secretary John Gummer has claimed that Labour would demand a 'top up tax' on Londoners to pay for its plans for a directly elected strategic authority for the capital.

And he claims that Labour's environment spokesman Frank Dobson is at odds with leader Tony Blair over the way the party's proposed Greater London Authority, discussed in a consultation paper released today, would work.

'Labour wants a son of the GLC paid for by a special levy on Londoners,' said Mr Gummer.

'Nowhere else in their regional policies have they yet dared to admit the cost of their plans. It is an open secret that Labour's Frank Dobson wants an old-style GLC, whilst Tony Blair demands a mayor of London. Labour cannot agree, so London may get both and pay for both.

'This would be not one more voice, but two more voices for London - to add to the 32 London boroughs and the City as well.

'In addition, services such as the police, transport and fire brigade would be supervised by boards. Labour's cacophony of voices is a recipe for chaos and confusion in the capital.

'Labour's top-up tax on Londoners would be a huge blow to London's growing confidence. It would turn away the companies who want to come to London and drive out those already here. Labour's top-up tax would mean bigger bills and fewer jobs for London. It is now clearer than ever before that Londoners would pay dearly under Labour.'

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