The Chancellor’s latest Budget shows that, despite Government claims to the contrary, austerity remains very much in place for local Councils.
Richmond upon Thames’ business community will let out a sigh of relief at the easing of small business rates and measures to fill the empty shop fronts we see in some of our high streets.
Meanwhile, the £650 million injection for social care, whilst welcome, will only go a small way to ease pressure on a sector which has faced years of underfunding and is now in a state of crisis.
Cllr Robin Brown, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance said:
“Whilst any Government contribution to our social care and business community is welcome the idea that this somehow signals an end to the Government’s damaging and discredited policy of austerity is simply untrue.
“We are particularly concerned at the lack of measures to address the major funding gap faced by SEND services which will have a detrimental impact on so many children in this borough.
“The temporary relief this new money brings is not matched by confidence in the Government’s commitment to ease the pain of long-term underfunding. We will continue to push for a fair and secure financial settlement for Richmond borough residents and our local business community.”
— from a Richmond Council press release - 31 October 2018