At a time when families are struggling to pay their bills, the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this afternoon will do little to repair the damage the Conservatives have done to our economy. After thirteen years of Conservative failure, working people are still paying the price.
The cost-of-living crisis is being experienced by councils across the country, as well as families in every community. Whilst inflation fell to 4.7%, the reality is that prices are still rising, and family finances still haven’t recovered from the Conservative government’s decisions to crashed our economy with the disastrous mini budget.
Local authorities are facing a combined funding gap of £3.5bn in the coming year, with today’s announcements doing nothing to address the chronic underfunding of councils, yet the government has failed to provide any certainty to local authorities.
Spending on children’s social care has increased by 13.6% and adult social care spending has increased by 12.8%, yet the Chancellor has offered no additional funding for local authorities to deal with these pressures.
This lack of additional funding will make it harder for councils to support children and young people, as well as vulnerable adults.
Since the government froze Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in 2020 there has been a 21% increase in rents, with local authorities spending 19.9% more nationally on homelessness help. Following successful lobbying from the LGA and Council Leaders across the country, we are glad to see that the government has finally listened and unfrozen Local Housing Allowance to cover the bottom 30% of market rents. Although, this uplift won’t be implemented until April 2024, leaving many families facing an uncertain winter.
The Chancellor Autumn statement offers very little to councils and our communities that depend on our services. The Conservatives have trashed our publish services with austerity, crashed our economy, and are now holding back economic growth. We desperately need a mission driven Labour government that can fix our country.