Tower Hamlets Council’s Response to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement

In response to the government’s Autumn Statement, a Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said, “The most significant resource challenge for Tower Hamlets Council – and other London local authorities - is mitigating, as far as possible, the severe impact of the Benefits Cap, which forms part of the government’s existing welfare reform plans.

The government’s Autumn Statement today confirmed that most benefits will rise by just one per cent - rather than the rate of inflation - and austerity measures may continue to 2018. We also learned today that local government funding will be cut by 2% in 2014 - we will have to identify the impact on our borough in the coming weeks.

This combination of factors may add to the challenges faced by the thousands of Tower Hamlets families already affected by the reforms planned for 2013, potentially causing further additional housing, local economic and social issues in the borough’. 

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said, ‘I am deeply disappointed that the government is continuing to hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. Here in Tower Hamlets we will continue to work with our vulnerable residents, to ensure they are accessing all the benefits and services that they are eligible for and help residents access financial, debt and housing advice, through building on the excellent programme of events held during Money Matters Month.'

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Rabina Khan, said, ‘Welfare cuts are hitting the poorest in our society the hardest. They will have a particularly harsh impact on women, single parents and minority ethnic households. It is also difficult to see how we are “all in it together”, when corporation tax is being reduced, and the proposals in the government’s Autumn Statement could increasingly marginalise the borough’s most vulnerable families, increase household debts and reduce local economic growth.’  

December 5, 2012