London Mayor's 2012-13 budget approved

The Mayor of London's £14bn budget for next year, including for policing and transport, has been passed.

Boris Johnson said it was "honest" and "prudent" allowing investment and savings.

But the Labour Party said the £3.10 reduction in council tax for the average household next year was derisory against average fare increases for transport.

The Liberal Democrats and Green Party criticised the small reduction in tax.

The cut in the Band D council tax bill from £309.82 to £306.72, and the protection of police numbers, were the key elements of the mayor's fourth budget approved by the London Assembly, he said.

'Sensible and careful'

A 6% fare increase will maintain investment in Crossrail and the Tube upgrades, he said.

A £90m grant from the government will pay for policing.

Mr Johnson said that at the end of his term there would be about 1,000 more police officers than at the beginning.

"Delivering value for money for Londoners, whilst also protecting front line services such as policing and transport infrastructure, has been possible thanks to the sensible and careful savings we have made over the past four years," he said.

But Mr Johnson's Labour opponents said his tax and fares policies were costing London families dear.

Labour's budget spokesman, John Biggs, said: "If the mayor was in touch with ordinary Londoners and the squeeze they're facing he would follow our lead and cut fares.

"A fares cut would put hundreds of pounds back in Londoners' pockets rather than the pennies saved on council tax."

The Liberal Democrats said the mayor had made a "mouse of a cut" at the "eleventh hour" and failed to share the fruits of the government grant.

The Green Party also criticised the small decrease in council tax and has labelled the grant from the government a "one-year bailout" to help the Conservative mayor get re-elected.

The London Mayor and Assembly elections will be held on 3 May.

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