Autumn Statement 2016
23 November 2016
Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader said:
"The Campaign to leave the EU promised there would be £350 million more a week to spend on our NHS. But the lack of any serious amount of funding for vital services such as social care prove that there is no "Brexit bonus" and in fact the purse strings will be tightening as a result of Brexit".
Government slammed over failure to invest more in our care services
Commenting on the lack of any extra measures to tackle the social care funding crisis in the Autumn Statement, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, LGA Lib Dem Group leader said:
"Once again, the Government have ignored all voices – care providers, charities, the NHS as well as local government and failed to take action on this issue. At the moment we are facing a funding gap of at least £2.7 billion. And we all know the knock on effects faced by our NHS if millions of people are denied the care and support they need to survive".
"But worse than ignoring the health and care sector, they have slammed the door on older and vulnerable people who now face not getting the dignified support they need, such as help getting dressed or getting out and about. When even senior Conservative Councillors describe the lack of any extra funding as "unacceptable", you know the Government is in real trouble. They should heed the call of Liberal Democrats and invest more in our Health and Care system".
Commenting on the Government's announcement of investment in digital infrastructure, Cllr Heather Kidd, LGA Lib Dem Spokesperson on Rural Issues said:
"Talk of investment in 5G technology is all well and good but for some parts of the country – especially many rural areas – it is meaningless when you struggle to get 3G connection, let alone 4G. And many rural communities still lack a reliable basic broadband service. To fully benefit these communities any extra funding to improve digital infrastructure will need to encourage new entrants to the market with the ambition to work outside the low-hanging fruit of better connected areas."
"The Government once again risks turning its back on rural Britain and leaving many communities and rural businesses isolated".
LGA Lib Dem Group Deputy Leader Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said:
"It is disappointing given the rise in reported hate crimes following the vote to leave the European Union that the chancellor today did not announce plans to foster community cohesion by guaranteeing extra funds for policing. Since Brexit hate crimes have risen by 41 per cent, the Autumn Statement would have been the perfect opportunity for Mr Hammond to demonstrate his commitment to ensuring that people feel safe in their communities."
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Chair of the LGA Lib Dem Group said:
"Local roads have been crying out for investment after years of financial neglect in favour of spending on national highways. The country's roads are so riddled with potholes it would take 14 years and an estimated £12 billion to fix the problem across the transport system. While the chancellor's announcement today that he will commit to spending £1.1billion improving local roads and public transport is welcome, local roads which are often heavily congested are the most badly affected."
"They receive the least amount of investment and the government needs to do more to reassure councils that long term investment will be available in order to plan for the future."
Cllr Chris White, Deputy Leader of the LGA Lib Dem Group said:
"Housing infrastructure as critical to improving the nation's productivity. And Councils are ready to step up and deliver the homes people in this country need. But yet again sadly the government has failed to acknowledge this today.
"Whilst on one hand we have seen the Government relax restrictions on existing affordable housing funding, on the other hand we have seen it pump additional cash in its Housing Association Right to Buy programme, which is misguided and foolish. In the eye of the government Council Housing is seen as a dirty word, this must change."
"We wait with baited breath to Government's forthcoming housing strategy will contain, a bare minimum we must see councils handed the powers and funding to resume their historic role as a major builder of affordable homes."
Welfare & Consumers
Cllr Howard Sykes, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Whip said:
"It is about time the Government took action on failing consumer markets, including energy and letting agents, and tackle issues around pension scams. Banning letting agent fees will save renters money and ending pension cold calls will help to protect consumers. These are issues that the Liberal Democrats have long campaigned on.
"Rights and enforcement are two sides of the same coin and it's good to see the government investing in making sure people get paid the wage they've earned. There is an opportunity to go further by increasing enforcement across other employment rights - like sick pay and maternity leave - and make it easier for workers to challenge exploitative employers by lowering Employment Tribunal fees.
"Reducing the Universal Credit taper rate shows an encouraging change of tack from the government - putting money into welfare instead of taking more out. Helping people on Universal Credit get the most from their earnings is the right intention but it won't fully offset the cuts to the work allowance.
23 November 2016