Steve Reed’s response to the summer budget:
The Tory budget is a disaster for thousands of hard-working Croydon families, and families with young children will be hit hardest of all. The Tories have introduced a work penalty that will deter people from getting jobs and make life harder for those who do.
As ever with this slippery Tory Chancellor, what he says in his Budget speech is very different from what’s hidden in the details. What George Osborne claims is a ‘budget for working people’ is nothing of the sort. Cuts in tax credits will clobber low-paid working parents who could be up to £1000 worse off according to the independent Resolution Foundation.
Croydon is facing a housing crisis, but the Chancellor’s budget will reduce the amount of affordable homes being built. Croydon has the biggest shortage of school places in the country, but the Chancellor did nothing to build the schools we need. And Croydon has much lower funding for health per head of population that the London average leading to long waiting times to see a GP, but there was no urgent action to put this right.
Our Labour council has announced plans to regenerate Croydon with a ‘growth zone’ that will bring thousands of new jobs and homes and billions in new investment, but there was no mention of the support needed from the Chancellor. Detail will follow later in the year on further cuts to vital local services like street cleaning, libraries, police and youth services; but the risks now looks even greater as the chancellor plans deeper cuts to pay for his tax hand-outs to big business.
This budget is a slap in the face for hard working families in Croydon North, people who need a decent affordable home, people who rely on their local GP, and people who want a good local school place for their child. As ever, the Tories have taken from the have-nots and given to the haves, and the tragic result will be increasing poverty and inequality across our community.