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Leader’s response to spring Budget 2023

16 March 2023

Cllr Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council, responds to the spring Budget, calling for more support for residents on housing, social care and the cost of living.

Cllr Williams said: “This Budget was a missed opportunity. Southwark urgently needs bold long-term solutions to the big issues we face – including the cost of living, housing, social care and the climate emergency. Sadly we did not get them.

"One in twenty three children in our city are homeless. But there was almost nothing in this budget to help them. In Southwark we are building thousands of new council homes but no council will be able to continue this progress unless Government that recognises the scale of the crisis and the need to invest much more in ending it.

"The extension of the energy price cap is welcome, but it does not provide a long term solution to either fuel poverty or energy supply. We should be following the lead of so many other countries around the world and investing in a national homes upgrade - installing the insulation and energy efficient heating that would bring bills, damp and carbon emissions down, whilst creating thousands of good jobs in the process. In Southwark we are showing what can be done, retrofitting our Tustin tower blocks and fitting ground source heat pumps to serve thousands of homes. We urgently need the Government to invest in this common sense upgrade, before our country falls even further behind.

"The reforms to our childcare system will be good news if they happen, however the funding announced falls short of what would be needed to cover the costs of childcare providers, especially in high cost areas like inner London. My worry is that unless the funding is increased significantly the new free offer for one and two year olds will not become available for many families because providers are not able to afford to provide it.

"Today was also a missed opportunity on social care. A year and a half ago were promised funding to deliver major social care reforms, but this has not happened. The Government should be taking Southwark’s lead and funding decent care by adopting our ethical and residential care charters, that are driving up the quality of care, helping to tackle the workforce crisis and ensuring decent pay for care workers too.”

Page last updated: 16 March 2023

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