Mixed responses from Brighton and Hove MPs to Phillip Hammond’s Budget
MPs from Brighton and Hove constituencies have reacted to Phillip Hammond’s final budget before the country’s exit from the EU yesterday. The Chancellor has claimed the “era of austerity is finally coming to an end” with plans to improve public finances, including more money for universal credit and a slight increase in growth from 1.3% to 1.6% for 2019.
Some of the other key points announced in The Budget included: a freeze on beer, cider and spirits duty; £30bn reserved for projects to repair motorways and roads across the UK; a tax on plastic packaging not made up off enough recyclable materials; a pack of cigarettes rising by 33p. Brighton and Hove MPs delivered their verdicts on the changes outlined by Hammond through social media.
We have a homeless crises with hundreds of rough sleepers every night in Brighton and more in emergency accommodation but in today’s budget homelessness is not mentioned. Instead it all about house buying/limited building- important but not if homeless already dead in our streets pic.twitter.com/tBMZszzHAu
— Lloyd Russell-Moyle (@lloyd_rm) October 29, 2018
Although Hammond announced first-time buyers eligibility will be extended to those purchasing shared equity homes of up to £500,000, many believe the homelessness problem in the UK needs to be tackled urgently.
MP for Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, highlighted the lack of acknowledgement to the number of people who are homeless or rough sleepers, which is a growing problem in Brighton and Hove. At the beginning of the year, the media reported a 25% increase in homelessness in the city, second worst in the UK to Westminister.
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. #Budget2018
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) October 29, 2018
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavillion and Green Party co-leader, warmly received the Chancellor’s address of lower business rates and a freeze on beer duty – two areas the MP and other constituents have been campaigning for in the community. However, the government’s abandonment of the charge on takeaway coffee cups was brandished as “reckless and short-sighted” by Lucas.
The MP also highlighted the lack of mention of climate change from Hammond despite the media attention building recently over how we need to radically change our habits. Lucas called for more investment in green energy and jobs to protect the planet and the future generations.
The Tories used to be the party of law and order. No more. A budget speech lasting an hour 15 mins without a single mention of policing, crime, or justice.#Budget2018 is unravelling faster than it took to deliver it
— Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 29, 2018
MP for Hove and Portslade, Peter Kyle, denounced the absence of “policing”, “crime”, and “justice” from the Chancellor’s Budget, claiming it “unforgivable”. In a cultural climate with rises in knife crime and violence, Kyle slammed the negligence of this in his address.
Kyle was among many MPs in the House of Commons to commend the protesters from ‘WASPI Women’ in the public gallery, demonstrating in support of the fate of their state pensions. Mr Hammond’s Budget speech was his third as Chancellor, which lasted around 72 minutes and outlined future plans for the state of our economy.
A full list of the key points made by Mr Hammond in The Budget can be found here.
Find out what the Budget means for you through the Budget calculator on the BBC website.