Monday, 25 October 2010

The Comprehensive Spending Review and Hackney

As you will be aware, the government's Comprehensive Spending Review was published last Wednesday and sets out the picture for the public sector spending over the next four years.

As one of the poorest borough's in the country, Hackney will be disproportionately hit by the severe cuts that have been set out.

The Review offers a bleak picture for the future of local government. Council funding will be cut by 27% between now and 2015. In addition, central government will only pay the council 90% of council tax rebates, rather than 100% as at present, resulting in either a further cut in funding or an additional burden upon our poorest residents.

On top of this, the changes to social housing policy threaten, if implemented, to be extremely damaging to the fabric of our borough. In particular the proposal to increase social housing rents to 80% of those charged on the open market will make them unaffordable to a very significant number of current tenants.

We will work closely with residents and civil society to ensure that our most vital services are protected wherever they can be. The prudent management of Hackney Council's finances leaves us in a far better position to address this situation than many other councils who are already being forced to cut vital services.

Mayor Pipe and all Labour Councillors will make every effort they can to minimise the effect of these cuts. However, like every public body in the country, Hackney will face extremely difficult choices over the coming years.

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