Council leader Steve Darling: Investing in high-quality options to support local care

Torbay Weekly

Bankers’ tax cuts of £3.8 billion compared to just £1.8 billion for catch-up-funding for our children highlights how out of touch the Chancellor is.

With more money than he anticipated, the Chancellor has disappointed me and millions of other people with a failure to invest adequately in our young people.

The Conservatives are giving more in tax cuts to bankers than catch-up funding for our children across the country.

With Torbay being the most deprived local authority in the South West, with high levels of poverty among our children, this lack of support for our kids will hit Torbay hardest, deepen inequalities and slow the mission of the partnership between the Liberal Democrats and Independents leading Torbay Council to turn the tide on poverty in the Bay.

The Conservatives have failed Torbay and the whole country by choosing bankers over children.

Furthermore, there are tax cuts for champagne and frequent flyers while by 2026, the average tax bill for a household in the UK will go up by £3,000 a year.

Three quarters of those who are claiming Universal Credit in our society will be worse off under this Budget, with the average cut to these claimants being £800.

Despite these sharp rises in household tax bills, any additional funding after 2025 for local authorities will be wiped out by rising costs an we will see councils being forced to slash at least some essential services.

In the light of this, the money allocated to social care from the Health and Social Care levy will not be enough to fund the Conservative government’s previously announced social care reforms, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Very little of the £5.4 billion of levy funding will go to social care over the next few years to be spent on prevention, care worker pay or meeting substantial unmet need.

The disappointing additional £500 million investment to develop the adult social care workforce will be pointless if the needs listed above are not met.

Torbay’s mission is to invest in high-quality options to support local care, such as extra housing and residential/nursing care  for those with dementia, will be a challenge due to the money initially being assigned to NHS services rather than social care.

Since austerity started, Torbay Council has lost one third of its staff and has had a £96 million reduction in like for like funding each year.

This Budget failed to reverse the austerity cuts we have suffered over many years.

Many of us were expecting a post-Brexit dividend for Brixham fishermen to be announced as part of this budget.

The Tories made great play during the referendum of taking back control of our fish stocks.

The final Brexit deal effectively sold out our fishermen and devastated our shellfish industry.

A strong message in recent months from local Tory MPs was that we could expect a significant investment in Brixham to make up for the fishing deal they imposed on our fishermen.

Sadly, we’ve been let down by the Tories again.

We are disappointed that the Chancellor has denied Torbay our levelling up bid of £20 million for Brixham.

Our once in a generation plan to enhance and extend Brixham Fish Quay was set to lead to 150 year-round jobs and could have generated more than £11 million a year for Brixham’s economy.

The money would have also been used to create a new electronics and photonics production park which would have revitalised the area and boosted local employment.

We will be contacting civil servants to seek some explanations about this and continuing to work hard to keep our ambitious plans for Brixham on the Government’s radar.

This is a woeful Budget from a Chancellor who is out of touch and out of ideas.