Jim Armitage: A man who fits the Bill for New York

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The Independent Online

Outlook The front-running candidate to be New York's new mayor is, frankly, a bit of a leftie.

Bill de Blasio wants to squeeze Wall Street for a bit more lolly to put into the city's crumbling schools. That means ending some of the $2bn-a-year of new tax breaks for the financial sector that Mr Bloomberg, whose company's trading terminals sit on practically every desk on the Street of Dreams, has granted to keep firms in NYC.

It also means putting slightly higher taxes on those earning more than $500,000 a year and subsidising small, non-financial businesses in poorer districts.

Unsurprisingly, the business lobby and Rupert Murdoch's New York Post have lined up against him, but he's hit on a fat seam of public support: New Yorkers not working in the money game feel as angry about the financial crisis' continued impact on jobs and wages as anybody.

Mr de Blasio is yet to get himself elected, of course, but if he does emerge victorious on 4 November, having a New York less slavishly prepared to bend to financiers' every whim will help British politicians take a tougher line when needed this side of the Atlantic.

The City and Canary Wharf will be less inclined to threaten to up sticks if they realise the Big Apple also wants its bankers to contribute a fair share to the communal pot.