"We are focused on making Islington a more equal place and that starts by supporting the most vulnerable people in our borough." Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council
Islington’s Labour-run Council has today announced Budget proposals to support local people this winter and make the borough a more equal place.
The Tory cost of living crisis is putting local people under pressure. Rising inflation, energy bills and food prices have come on top of the Universal Credit cut and the impact of Covid-19 to make life harder for people this winter.
That’s why the Council is stepping up, to support local people and protect the most vulnerable people in our borough, when they need us the most, making Islington a more equal place, despite continued Tory austerity.
This year’s Budget includes an extra £676,000 investment in the Council Tax Support Scheme, cutting bills by 95% for 19,000 low-income households, and before Christmas, the Council distributed £200 vouchers to 6,000 low-income households to support with the expensive festive period and helping with the cost of living.
Since 2018, the Council has supported more than 4,000 local people into good work, surpassing the manifesto commitment by a year. This year, the Council is invest £160,000 to quadruple the size of the childcare bursary scheme, helping 300 more parents back into work or training. This will in particular support women in the borough, who disproportionately take on the bulk of the childcare responsibilities.
Everyone deserves a safe, decent, genuinely affordable place to call home and this year’s budget includes investment to tackle the Tory housing crisis, funding work to start another 228 council homes for local people and continuing to protect private renters.
Islington’s Labour-run Council is continuing to invest in making the borough a cleaner, greener, healthier place with a further £7.3 million, including pressing ahead with more School Streets, planting more trees and cleaning up air quality across the borough.
Making Islington a safer place and giving young people the best possible start in life are top priorities for the Council and this year’s budget includes an extra £500,000 into the borough’s youth offer and pressing ahead with the £2 million programme to tackle violence against women and girls.
This year’s Budget comes against the backdrop of continued Tory austerity with the Government forcing the Council find £281 million of savings since 2010. Despite this, the Council has continued to protect the services that matter most to local people, including keeping all libraries open, protecting weekly bin collections and delivering free school meals for all primary school children.
This year’s budget proposals will be debated at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 3rd March. You can read the full Budget proposals here.
Council Leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz said:
“We are focused on making Islington a more equal place and that starts by supporting the most vulnerable people in our borough. The Tory cost of living crisis comes at a time when the Government has cut Universal Credit payments and the pandemic continues to affect us all so we are putting money into supporting local people this year.
“I am proud that we are investing in the issues that matter most to local people, helping people into good work, creating a cleaner, greener, healthier borough and tackling the housing crisis. But we would be able to go much further if the Tory Government invested in Islington rather than continued austerity targeting our borough.”
Cllr Satnam Gill, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:
“Despite twelve years of Tory austerity, the Council continues to support the most vulnerable people in our borough.
“Local people are feeling the pinch this winter and the Council is helping the most vulnerable people in Islington heat their homes, put food on the table and travel to work.”