Nottingham City Council and the East Midlands Chamber have both criticised Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget, calling it “directionless” and “a missed opportunity”.
The city council criticised the Budget’s omission of funding to tackling homelessness after it was revealed an extra £1million is needed in the city.
The cut to school budgets and the lack of additional funding for road maintenance and transport infrastructure has also come under fire.
Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader, Graham Chapman, said: “Council finances are already at tipping point and we will have to make very difficult decisions in our own budget next year.
“Little the Chancellor has announced today will change that”.
The East Midlands Chamber was also somewhat critical of the Budget announcement questioning if Philip Hammond could have done more.
Director of policy at the Chamber, Chris Hobson said there were no “game changers” but did admit there “were a number of smaller announcements that will please some people”.
He added: “All in all, this Budget was something of a missed opportunity for the Government to invest meaningfully in those areas that will support the wealth creators of the UK, large and small – investment we need if we are to unharness the full potential of our businesses and investment which should not be viewed as a cost as it will repay itself many times over the longer term.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was also critical towards the lack of a required £1billion investment in sprinkler systems to be fitted in every high-rise building, referring particularly to Nottingham: “In 2013, the Government received advice in a coroner’s report that sprinklers should be fitted in all high-rise buildings.
“Today, once again, the Government failed to fund the £1 billion investment needed. The Chancellor says that councils should contact them, but Nottingham and Westminster have done so, and they have been refused; nothing was offered to them.”
However, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was buoyant in his deliverance of his second budget to Parliament.
He said: “I report today on an economy that continues to grow, continues to create more jobs than ever before, and continues to confound those who seek to talk it down: an economy set on a path to a new relationship with our European neighbours and a new future outside the European Union—a future that will be full of change, full of new challenges, and, above all, full of new opportunities.”
Fellow Conservative MPs were quick to praise Chancellor Hammond’s Budget amid the criticism.
MP for Broxtowe Anna Soubry tweeted:
ChX delivers realistic budget with solutions to challenges Britain faces & plans to deliver a positive future for younger ppl in particular
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) November 22, 2017
MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley also took to Twitter to praise the Budget:
— Ben Bradley MP (@bbradleymp) November 22, 2017
The Budget also received independent praise from Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies:
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) November 23, 2017
For more reaction on the Budget follow the CBJ blog here.