Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his Budget in the House of Commons today (October 29) – which included a boost for mental health services, cash for repairs to potholes, as well as funds for schools.
There was nothing specific for Sussex in this year’s Budget, but MPs from across the county were quick to react to some of the headline announcements today.
The Chancellor said £420m will be handed to highways authorities for road repairs and fixing potholes, and pledged £400m for schools ‘to buy the little extras they need’.
But not all were impressed with this announcement.
Save Our Schools, a parent-led campaign group in Brighton and Hove, said: “#littleextras how patronising. What about the rest? You’ve pledged more to potholes #schoolcuts #budget2018.”
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Cannot believe how out of touch this Government is.
“Schools don’t just need money for ‘little extras’ – they are struggling to pay staff, upkeep buildings and provide vital support to children with special needs.”
But Ms Lucas welcomed an announcement on business rates.
The Chancellor announced a £675m ‘Future High Streets Fund’, and a cut in business rates for small retailers by one third.
The Brighton MP said: “Good news for #Brighton local businesses. I’ve been campaigning for reduced business rates so welcome Chancellor’s announcement. Now needs to be matched with replacement funding for local authorities, who are the ones that get money raised from rates.”
Other announcements included £650m earmarked for adult social care for councils in 2019/20, and cash for mental health services, including crisis centres in A&E departments.
On the news that beer and cider duty would be frozen, Conservative MP for Wealden Nusrat Ghani said: “Wealden breweries will be pleased as will local punters and Wealden pubs! #Budget2018.”
Henry Smith, Conservative MP for Crawley, praised the Chancellor’s Budget, and said: “House of Commons: With a growing economy and record high employment, supported through eight years of Conservative recovery policies, I welcome lower taxes, increased wages as well as public services investment, from highways, high streets and health announced in today’s Budget.”
But Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown Lloyd Russell-Moyle had a different view, and said: “In today’s budget no mention of homelessness, no mention of child poverty, no mention of support for FE colleges or youth work. Ignored food bank use and keeps pushing forward with Universal Credit by only reversing half the cuts (so people will only be half as worse off).”