“This budget was billed by Theresa May as ‘the end of austerity’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Today’s budget confirms that the government is pressing ahead with the huge cuts that have caused so much damage to London at the same time as we face a catastrophic threat to jobs and growth from either a bad or no-deal Brexit.
The government has forced the Met police to make £1 billion of savings since 2010, and warnings – from the Home Affairs Select Committee to senior police officers – that we desperately needed an increase in the police budget today have been ignored.
Neither is there any investment in youth services to create more opportunities for the next generation.
As a result, with so little in today’s budget on the scourge of violent crime, it’s hard not to conclude that the government is abdicating its responsibility to keep the public safe.
I will continue to lead from the front on policing, supporting the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce and creating a new Violent Reduction Unit to tackle the root causes of crime – but our hands are tied behind our back because of these government cuts.
I welcome today’s confirmation that the government is lifting the restrictions on local authorities investing to build new council homes, but this alone will not be enough to fix London’s housing crisis which has been decades in the making.
We still need to see a significant increase in funding for affordable homes and new powers to allow City Hall and councils to build. It’s extremely disappointing that the government is still refusing to give London the funding we need to go further and faster to tackle toxic air pollution and there is still no sign whatsoever of a diesel scrappage fund for older polluting vehicles.
With Londoners contributing £600 million a year in vehicle excise duty to the new national roads fund, it beggars belief that London is not eligible to access funds from this scheme for the upkeep of our major roads.
Today was another missed opportunity to give London the powers and funding we desperately need to tackle the challenges ahead and properly prepare for the damaging reality of the government’s bad Brexit.”
– Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan