Cllr Comer-Schwartz and Cllr Ward

Spring Budget - letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Ahead of next week's Spring Budget, a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the Leader and Deputy Leader of Islington Council about four things that would make a huge difference to lives in Islington

Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,

As the Spring Budget approaches, we write to you on behalf of Islington Council to set out what our community needs to help us support local people.

Our brilliant borough has a wealth of opportunities, and so many talented and ambitious people. But many of our residents face challenges as they seek to thrive and find success for themselves and their families. For example, 28 per cent of children under-16 in Islington live in income-deprived families, the highest percentage in London.

We want to do more to help people succeed in our borough. We need Government to help us with this work, to support our residents and protect vital services upon which hard-pressed local people rely. We ask for four things in the Spring Budget to help build a stronger, fairer, and more prosperous Islington and Britain for generations to come.

Fair funding – local government has seen severe cuts in funding since 2010, and Islington has had to make savings of almost £300 million due to central Government’s underfunding. We urge Government to reverse the cuts to Islington’s funding since 2010, and increase local government funding in real terms to help protect local services

Help us maintain and build council homes – we urge the Government to properly fund council housing and make it easier for councils to borrow money at affordable rates, and spend existing funds, to build much-needed new council homes. The Government should lift the 40 percent cap on funding for new build schemes that can come from right-to-buy receipts, and enable councils to combine right-to-buy receipts with other public funding sources to build new council homes

 Support for adult social care – national social care funding is at crisis point, and the way adult social care is funded nationally needs a complete overhaul to make it sustainable. In Islington alone, the cost of adult social care is currently increasing by about £20 million each year. This is much more than the increase in money designated for adult social care by Government, which means the council has to save money from other services. The current system is not sustainable. We ask the Government to create an ongoing settlement to create a resilient adult social care system that’s fit for the future, and guarantees everyone the care they deserve

Additionally, we urgently request the continuation of the Household Support Fund into the financial year 2024/25. Since the fund started in October 2021, Islington has contributed to over £11 million from the fund. It has been instrumental in addressing the immediate challenges of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Approximately half of the funding has been dedicated to combating holiday hunger, with the remainder supporting financially vulnerable households, including low-income carers, pensioners, and care leavers, who have often been overlooked or excluded from government support.

These four things in the Spring Budget would make a huge difference to lives, and futures, in our borough.

We invite you to visit Islington for a meeting and to discuss our four asks.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz
Leader of Islington Council

Councillor Diarmaid Ward
Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, Planning, and Performance

Contact information

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please view the contact information on our website or call 020 7527 2000.