Harlow Labour Party joins the loud chorus of voices from around the country in expressing its disappointment with the Autumn Budget announced by the Conservative Chancellor, Philip Hammond yesterday.
Labour Cllr and Leader of Harlow Council, Jon Clempner said; “Overall this was a disappointing Budget, with growth forecasts significantly revised down and for years to come, investment in R&D not happening for five years, and no money for social care or for public sector pay beyond vague promises for NHS staff.”
Cllr Clempner acknowledged that some elements had potential to help Harlow such as money for NHS capital expenditure and investment to support housing growth, but warned that people should not be distracted by these promises from the really worrying reality of yesterday’ s announcement.
“Let’s be clear, yesterday’s Budget was bad news for anyone requiring adult social care, working within the public sector, expecting a decent education for their children or holding out a faint hope of getting on the housing ladder,” Councillor Clempner said.
Aiden O’Dell who is standing for Labour in Sumners and Kingsmoor said; “As a candidate looking to take on a role within Harlow Council to support our most vulnerable residents, it’s hugely disappointing that the Budget offered nothing to ease the financial crisis facing local services.
“Funding gaps and rising demand for our adult social care and children’s services are threatening the vital services which care for our elderly and disabled, protect children and support families.
“Almost 60p in every £1 that people pay in council tax could have to be spent caring for children and adults by 2020, leaving little to fund other services, like cleaning streets, running leisure centres and libraries, and fixing potholes. This should worry every single resident.”
Laura McAlpine who is standing for Labour in Staple Tye and who currently lives in Harlow with her husband on a canal boat said; “As a young person looking to get on the housing ladder one day, I found a lot of what was in the Budget yesterday really frustrating.
“For example, the abolition of first time buyers’ stamp duty will push house prices up; the increase in new Council homes from the 217,000 they’re building now to 300,000 in ten years, is hardly a dramatic increase and as for the announcement that they will eradicate rough sleeping by 2027, that is simply fixing a tragic problem that has been entirely of the Tories own making. The number of people sleeping rough has doubled since 2010.”
Cllr Maggie Hulcoop said; “When I think about the people I represent and support in Harlow Common, what particularly concerns me is the complete lack of understanding or compassion for recipients of benefits.
“The announcements around universal credit in yesterday’s Budget are a small improvement on the diabolical situation recipients have been facing, but they they will still have to wait a minimum of 35 days for their benefits. And even though they can have an “advance”, this is nothing more than a loan that they will then have to pay back, which means they are simply building up debt.”
Chris Vince, Labour’s PCC Candidate in 2016 for candidate for Great Parndon in next year’s local elections said; “I was very disappointed to see that Philip Hammond’s budget does not include any additional funding for the police force. This comes only weeks after his own party’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex said that funding for policing across our county is not adequate.
“Harlow deserves a fully funded police force, which is able to cater for the needs of communities, as well as police officers themselves who do not feel overworked and undervalued. This can only be done by a progressive tax system, where those who can afford it pay a little more, and tackling tax avoidance, something Hammond’s budget also fails to deliver.”
Promoted by Phil Waite on behalf of Harlow Labour Party
For further information call Eugenie Harvey, Harlow Labour Press Officer on 07966 014122