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Boris unveils £3bn package to help London weather recession
11:54am Thursday 18th December 2008 in News
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled a £3bn package of measures to help London weather the current economic slump.
Plans include a major campaign to make businesses aware of available help and a £1m boost in tourism advertising and £300,000 on promoting export opportunities.
Johnson revealed a detailed plan called the Mayor's Economic Recovery Action Plan, which will be put in place by the Greater London Authority Group and its partners throughout 2009.
The plan involves launching new programmes, revamping existing ones and refocusing budgets to meet London's needs in the economic climate.
A £23.4m support package for new businesses is to be backed by a major publicity campaign aimed at ensuring small and medium sized businesses, organisations and individuals are aware of the help that is available.
Also among the 60 measures is a promise of a £1m tourism campaign aimed at leisure and business visitors from the UK and overseas, together with a £300,000 export promotion programme aimed at highlighting trade and export opportunities arising from the weak pound.
- Backing a new international convention centre for London, which, a recent KPMG report estimates, could bring in £400m per year.
- At least 1,000 apprenticeships and 100 work experience places provided by the GLA.
- Efficiency savings worth £950m over three years, across the functional bodies of the GLA.
It comes after the Conservative mayor appears to have kept his promise in freezing the GLA portion of Londoners' council tax.
However, Labour assembly members claim the freeze will save the average London household just £6 a year.
Len Duvall, Labour's leader on the London Assembly, said: "It is a total fraud from the Mayor when he tells Londoners he is saving them money and is the saviour of their economy. The average couple travelling to and from work on London's buses will be around £90 a year worse off.”