IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Austerity is alive and kicking, warns council leader

Town Hall chief says budget will lead to more cuts

02 November, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Islington Council leader Richard Watts

THE Town Hall leader says “Tory austerity is alive and kicking” after the government unveiled its Budget on Tuesday.

In the final budget before Britain’s exit from the European Union in March, chancellor Phillip Hammond announced he will make £650million available for local authorities in this country. An extra £84m over the next four years will be available to expand children’s social care programmes and Mr Hammond also promised an extra £1bn to ease the roll-out of universal credit, the new welfare programme which merges most benefits into one.

But in a letter in this week’s Tribune, Cllr Richard Watts warned that “the budget confirmed that cuts to local councils, including Islington, will continue”. He highlighted the cuts that have faced his council over the past eight years, having lost 70 per cent of core funding from the government. “Our local schools are set to lose funding equivalent to the cost of providing 99 teachers,” he added.

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