Labour Party welcomes extension of support for households in Spring budget - The Evesham Observer

Labour Party welcomes extension of support for households in Spring budget

Evesham Editorial 6th Mar, 2024   0

LABOUR representatives in Droitwich and Evesham have welcomed the chancellor’s continuation of the Household Support Fund, but have questioned whether it’s six month extension will be long enough.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the extension alongside a swathe of other policies during his Spring budget speech in Westminster on Wednesday (March 6).

He told Westminster: “I’ve decided with a battle against inflation still not over, now is not the time to stop the targeted help this scheme offers.

“We will therefore continue it at current levels for the next six months.”

Labour representatives in Droitwich and Evesham feared this would not be the case and called upon the chancellor to reverse potential plans to abolish the fund which supports households with the cost-of-living crisis.

In response to the extension, chair of the Droitwich and Evesham Labour party, Alex Knudsen told the Observer: “While the extension of the fund is welcomed, the duration is of concern when the economy is in recession and the cost of living still so high for so many.

“With this fund likely to be in desperate need beyond this additional 6 month period, this government and the next one, following this years general election, need to find a way to continue this support and ease the cost of living burden.”

Among other major announcements in Hunt’s budget were a decrease in national insurance contributions from 10 per cent to eight per cent, a reform of child tax credit thresholds, tax increases on tobacco, a new vape duty as well as a freeze on both fuel and alcohol duties.

While the Local Government Association (LGA) also welcomed the extension of the Household Support Fund, they have called into question how successful the budget will be with regards to improving public services.

“It is disappointing that the Government has not announced measures to adequately fund the local services people rely on every day.

“Councils continue to transform services but, given that core spending power in 2024/25 has been cut by 23.3 per cent in real terms compared to 2010/11, it is unsustainable to expect them to keep doing more for less in the face of unprecedented cost and demand pressures,” said councillor Shaun Davies, chair of the LGA.

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