REDDITCH Labour group has said the government’s budget has done nothing to help services ‘who are already on their knees’.
Speaking to the Standard, leader of Redditch Labour group, Coun Joe Baker said: “This budget from the lacklustre Chancellor only punishes the working classes and those who are most vulnerable.
“We know that we are in a recession, cuts to public services will only harm services already on their knees especially adult and children’s services.
“Capping the threshold only causes increases in taxes for workers who receive a pay rise.
“Councils are being left to find the much needed funds to provide services with caps and no extra funding which lead to more taxes and more cuts.”
Deputy leader Coun Sharon Harvey added: “The local Conservative group were hoping that Jeremy Hunt would deliver a pot of gold to local government so that they could dig themselves out of the financial hole they find themselves in.
“Austerity is still alive and kicking at Redditch Borough Council with a forecast that the council will not have enough reserves to cover expenditure in 3 years time.
“This means the Conservatives can only do one thing – the further cutting of services in order to balance the books.”
Redditch Borough Council’s Portfolio-holder for finance, Coun Karen Ashley, said: “The Council has identified £1.5m of savings in Tranche 1 of the 2023/4 to 2025/6 Medium Term Financial Plan which more than mitigates the opening £0.9m deficit.
“We are working on plans for Tranche 2 of the budget but cannot finalise this until we understand the Local Government Financial Settlement, which will not be known until the week of the 19th December.”
Leader of the Council Matt Dormer added: “It’s a shame that our budget pages, which have been circulated to all members, have not been fully understood as this is our current position.
“But by working together and facing the tough decisions we will bring the Council to financial sustainability by 2024/25 as is required.”