CONSERVATIVE Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has set out the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in parliament today.
There are a number of ramifications for Thurrock. We will be gauging the reaction of both Thurrock MP’s, Jackie Doyle-Price and Stephen Metcalfe as soon as possible.
This will be updated regularly
The national figures are as follows:
1. Reduction of 7% in council budgets
2. Police face a 20% cut in their budgets. (3,000 fewer prisoners over four years).
3. Additional £2bn for social care.
4. 40% cut in budget for higher education.
5. Spending on NHS (real health spending over 1.3%schools to be protected
6. Half a million public sector jobs to go.
7. £7bn in additional welfare savings
8. Police funding cut by 4% a year
9. Retirement age to rise from 65 to 66 by 2020.
10. Ring-fencing of local authority grants to end.
11. Disadvantaged two-year-olds to have access to 15 hours of care per week.
12. Support for citizenship and “big society” projects.
13. Reform of social housing but aim is to build 150,000 new affordable homes.
The social housing budget in England is to be cut by more than 50% in the Spending Review.
Council houses “for life” will also end for new tenants, with their entitlement assessed at regular intervals.
Despite the cuts, ministers are likely to set a target of building 150,000 affordable homes, changing the way councils charge rent to finance them.
14. Funding will be available for an extra 150,000 affordable homes over the next four years. The budget for building homes slashed by 74%.
15. Reform of public sector pensions to save £1.8bn by 2015.
16. £7bn in further welfare savings through changes to jobseekers’ allowance, housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension credit and family tax credits.
17. Withdrawal of child benefits to higher-rate taxpayers confirmed but no further changes. Winter fuel allowance, free bus passes and TV licences protected.
18. 3% above inflation rise in rail fares.
19. Personal budgets will be expanded for children with special educational needs and adults with long-term care needs.
20. Reform of the planning system so local people are in charge, reduce burdens on builders and encourage more homes to be built, with a New Homes Bonus scheme.
One political commentator said: “There was a vicious list of measures that will, among other things, lead to 34-year-olds being treated as students so far as housing benefit is concerned, a big cut in childcare support for working mums, and less recognition for pensioners who have a small amount of savings that puts them just above the safety net.
“They will all be hit, but no one will be hit harder than disabled people with a husband or wife that works. After just one year, they will now find themselves stripped of any independent income”.
“Welfare changes affect the bottom 20% households more than anyone else.