Reaction to today's budget

4:30pm - 03 March 2021

Here’s a joint statement from Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, and Deputy Leader, Mike Bell, reacting to today’s budget:

“While we await all the details we are pleased that the chancellor has pledged to maintain the £20 uplift in universal credit for a further six months as well as increasing the national living wage.

“He has also announced increased funding for domestic abuse programmes as well as providing additional funding to combat mental health issues among our armed forces veterans_ we welcome these announcements too.

“The continued support for businesses as lockdown eases and the economy begins to wake up will bring comfort to many of our local businesses who have suffered during lockdown. The reduced 5% VAT rate will also help our hospitality and tourism sector as it gears up to welcome visitors once lockdown restrictions ease.”

However, they were disappointed that there was nothing around the funding for local government and no announcement on how social care would be funded:

“Nothing was said in the budget about the future of social care and the need for sustainable funding. Yet again, a difficult challenge has been kicked down the road in a way likely to lead to further pressure on local budgets and more uncertainty for care staff and those who rely on their services.

“The lack of any clarity on funding for local government was desperately unhelpful too.

 “And we’re disappointed that the bid we were part of for a freeport at Avonmouth was not among the eight successful bidders the chancellor announced – this would have brought real benefits to our junction 21 enterprise area and we will be seeking an explanation as to why this first bid wasn’t a winning one.”