Mayor Philip Glanville responds to Autumn Statement
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville responds to the Autumn Statement delivered by the Chancellor this afternoon:
Today, the Chancellor chose to make Hackney’s residents pay for his government’s mistakes. The previous mini-budget crashed the economy and created a black hole in the public finances, and now our communities are being made to pay for it.
Further cuts are a devastating blow to our public services, just when our residents facing a cost of living crisis need them the most. While the Government was crashing the economy, Hackney Council was stepping up support for people in need. But instead of our efforts being supported, we are once again being told to do more with less.
At the same time, while a social housing rent cap to help protect council tenants from further inflation pressures is welcome and called for, doing so without funding the black hole it creates in council housing budgets will cause long-term problems. The rent cap will create a £13.6m gap in our housing budget that we will need to fill through further savings.
Once again this government is failing to bring forward a proper plan to insulate homes. While we will continue to press ahead with our Green Homes programme and Community Energy Fund, we could do so much more with a plan from the Government. Instead, Hackney will have to wait until 2025 to see any meaningful action.
But I’m pleased that our efforts to stand up for Hackney have seen some wins for local people. In October, we called on the Chancellor to raise benefits in line with inflation, make sure there was no cliff edge in energy bills support after March next year and continue the Household Support Fund. I’m pleased to see these in the Autumn Statement, and we’ll keep pressing the Government to do more.
Ultimately, however, public sector cuts, pushing the burden of adult social care funding onto Council Tax payers, raising the energy bill cap to £3,000, and further tax rises will be a massive strain on household budgets in Hackney.
This Autumn Statement is a wasted opportunity that places the burden of covering the Government’s gamble with the economy on Hackney’s communities and public services for years to come.