Four hours after Guido was promised a full policy costing from Laurence Fox, it was finally sent through. A few minutes’ study made it clear the costings are built on less-than-solid ground. Far from a fully-costed manifesto, the details amounted to 350 words specifically on the “free tube and bus fares for six months” policy. On this, Fox puts the figure at an unbelievably low £500,000 in total.
This, he claims – both in the document and during Guido’s interview – is from TfL’s and the Mayor’s own figure, which he says put the total cost at £20 million per week. Two immediate problems:
Oddly, a much more correct TfL revenue figure does appear in a separate document released by Team Fox this afternoon.
Most perplexing is the campaign’s decision to base costings on current passenger numbers, even though they’re rock bottom due to lockdown; and the aim of the policy is to encourage Londoners back onto public transport, which would then render the costings irrelevant.
It’s not the first time Fox has got his figures startlingly off. Last week he claimed Sadiq’s woke statue review was costing £100 million – off from the true figure of £1 million. Fox has more in common with Diane Abbott than you might think. As we go to pixel today, the day of his “manifesto launch”, no one has yet to see a manifesto…