Barking MP Margaret Hodge claims Spending Review ‘offers nothing’ for residents
- Credit: Vickie Flores
Margaret Hodge has hit out at the government’s Spending Review, claiming it “offers nothing” for Barking and Dagenham residents.
Chancellor George Osborne scrapped cuts to policing and U-turned on cuts to tax credits among a raft of measures outlined in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Although the Barking MP was pleased by some of the announcements, Mrs Hodge criticised the government for not doing enough for her constituents.
“I welcome the Chancellor’s U-turn on his decision to cut tax credits,” she said. “It just goes to show the power of effective campaigning.
“However, beneath the smoke and mirrors of his headline announcements this statement offers nothing for residents across the borough.”
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Mr Osborne cut the Department for Transport’s budget by 37 per cent, although he announced capital spending will increase by a half to £61billion, including an £11bn investment on London-wide infrastructure and the creation of a permanent pothole fund.
Meanwhile NHS spending in England will rise from £101bn to £120bn by 2021, although £22bn of efficiency savings will be made, with the Department of Health’s budget was cut by a quarter.
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And while the Chancellor promised a 12-month extension of the small business rate relief scheme, Mrs Hodge claims jobseekers are not getting the help they need.
“We have the highest unemployment rate across the borough yet the government has cut the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – which is responsible for adult education – by £4.5billion,” she added.
“This means people over the age of 18 will struggle to retrain to find work.
“Thanks to government cuts the NHS is in trouble and the extra money he has pledged is just a drop in the ocean.
“It will do little to address the problems our local health services face.”
According to the Treasury boss, local councils are sitting on property worth £250bn, and authorities will now be able to keep 100pc of receipts from the sale of any assets.
Councils will also will be able to add a 2pc levy of council tax precept exclusively for social care, but Mrs Hodge insists it will have little impact.
“We already know that thanks to government cuts our local council’s adult social care services have been cut to the bone and his announcement to allow a two per cent rise in council tax to pay for this will not go far enough in plugging the gap,” she claimed.
“The Chancellor keeps cutting money without any thought for the impact it will have on communities like Barking and Dagenham.”
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