Council Leader’s response to the Chancellor’s budget 2024

Council Leader responds to Chancellor's Budget announcement.

Published: Thursday, 7th March 2024

Cllr Shantanu Rajwat

In response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Budget 2024 announced yesterday (6 March), Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, said:  

Once again the Chancellor has failed to recognise and acknowledge 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.  

The Chancellor announced an extension of the Household Support Fund, which we welcome and have been strongly advocating for it along with charity partners and other councils. However a six month extension given the volatility of the country’s economic climate doesn’t go far enough for our residents who require this support.

The confirmation of a mere 1% rise in public spending for the next parliament effectively represents a cut, not an increase, when considering the escalating service demands and the cost of living crisis. This situation underscores the urgent need for stable, if not enhanced, support for local government finances in light of the mounting pressures on local authorities. 

Moreover, the compounded challenges of increased service demand, high inflation, and systemic issues with asylum and housing have burdened councils, leaving them to manage the repercussions on behalf of the citizens they serve.  

On the whole this is a deeply disappointing for councils and is a far cry from a ‘budget for long term growth’. 

Despite the continued lack of support from central government, we will do everything to make sure we maintain excellent public services, delivering on our ambitious plans for the borough while continuing to manage our finances in a responsible way as can be seen in our ambitious budget for 2024/25.  

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