Leeds City Council Leader reacts to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement
Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“The Autumn Statement does not go nearly far enough in addressing some of the UK’s basic inequalities and there was very little, if any, mention of much-needed support for council services in Leeds.
“We need decisive action nationally to address rapidly escalating demand for social care services. Without intervention it is councils like Leeds that will be left shouldering the burden and our NHS will be pushed to the edge as it approaches its busiest time of the year.
“At Leeds City Council we are committed to continuing to deliver high quality public services for our citizens. However, we need Government action on funding if those services are to have a sustainable future.
“We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse strategy, but we will have to wait for the detail to see how it will benefit Leeds. We also welcome the Chancellor’s focus on productivity in regional cities like Leeds.”
The Chancellor has presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament – here’s a summary of what was announced:
1. New economic forecast
2. Debt falling by 2020
3. Fuel duty will remain frozen for a seventh year
4. A new three-year NS&I Investment Bond available from spring 2017
5. Committing to raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000 by 2020-21
6. The National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage will increase from April 2017
7. The Universal Credit taper will be reduced from 65% to 63% from April 2017
8. A ban on letting agents charging fees to renters
9. Cracking down on pensions scams
10. Over £102 million of LIBOR banking fines to support armed forces and emergency services charities
11. A new National Productivity Investment Fund to provide £23 billion of additional spending, ensuring the UK’s economy is fit for the future
12. £2.3 billion for a new Housing Infrastructure Fund
13. £390 million investment in future transport technology
14. A major new investment in transport infrastructure
15. £1 billion to invest in full-fibre broadband and trialling 5G networks
16. £2 billion more per year in research and development funding by 2020-21
17. More money for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
18. Expanding the museums and galleries tax relief
19. Over £10 million to support culture and heritage projects across the UK
20. Committing to cutting corporation tax to 17% by 2020
21. £400 million through the British Business Bank to invest in growing innovative firms
22. Rural Rate Relief will increase to 100%
23. Cracking down on tax avoiders and those who help them
24. Salary sacrifice schemes will be taxed more fairly
25. Insurance Premium Tax will increase by 2% from 1 June 2017.