The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has shared a statement on today's Autumn Statement from the Chancellor.
"The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained some good news for Greater Manchester, and we welcome that as far as it goes, but there are also gaps which give us cause for concern going into a difficult winter.
“One of our biggest calls has been the urgent need to unfreeze Local Housing Allowance and I am pleased that the Chancellor has listened. However, his uplift won’t come into effect until April 2024 which means we are still facing a difficult winter with a rising rough sleeping and homelessness crisis. There is a clear case for more homelessness funding now for our 10 councils, given the extra costs they will face this winter from both this ongoing freeze and from Home Office evictions. It is essential if the Government is to have any hope of achieving its manifesto commitment of ending rough sleeping in this Parliament. We are also concerned about plans to reintroduce the freeze in 2025 and would ask the Government to reconsider this.
“We very much welcome the confirmation from the Chancellor that Greater Manchester will get an Investment Zone backed by £160 million of Government funding, boosting the growth of our thriving advanced manufacturing and materials sector. It will help us bring forward our plans for Atom Valley and deliver industries of the future and jobs to match in the north-east of Greater Manchester.
“This Autumn Statement also brings a significant deepening of devolution in Greater Manchester with the publication of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Treasury on how our new Single Settlement will work. This moves our city-region towards a Welsh-style or Scottish-style funding arrangement with Whitehall and is a big vote of confidence in Greater Manchester. It will give us much greater control of our budget at the next Spending Review and help us get better outcomes for our residents and businesses.
"While there are some good things in the Autumn Statement, I fear it will not ease the cost-of-living pressures this winter on our residents with the lowest incomes. Benefit uplifts will not come into force until April 2024 and the cut in National Insurance won’t benefit those on the lowest pay rates. Residents in all ten of Greater Manchester’s boroughs will face a tough time over the next few months and our councils will continue to face unprecedented pressures on their budgets. Overall, it feels like a missed opportunity to do the right thing.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham
Article Published: 22/11/2023 16:55 PM