Hounslow Council Leader Cllr Shantanu Rajawat has issued the following statement in response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement.
Published: Thursday, 23rd November 2023
In response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement announced yesterday (22 November), Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, said:
“It is deeply disappointing the Chancellor failed to recognise the strain on councils to protect essential local services while costs and demand continue to rise, despite persistent calls to secure the long-term financial sustainability of local government funding. It is astounding that the Chancellor has blatantly ignored the crisis in health, social care, the asylum system, the climate emergency, and a whole range of other failed policies and has simply left local authorities to pick up the pieces at the expense of hard-pressed citizens.”
“With ongoing rises in food and energy costs, many residents in Hounslow will face the difficult choice between heating or eating this winter, so we were disheartened, on behalf of our residents, to see no immediate measures to address the cost-of-living crisis.
“I am also concerned about the Chancellor’s plans to change the benefits system, in particular by increasing conditionality, as they are likely to further sanction some of the most disadvantaged people in society, thus deepening the inequalities they experience.
“Despite the lack of support from central government, Hounslow Council will do whatever it takes to maintain excellent public services, delivering on our ambitious plans for the borough while continuing to manage our finances in a responsible way.”