Housing chief: Budget will make the poorest even poorer
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Finance
Free place pupils at private schools feel 'alienated'
The chief executive of one of the largest housing groups in the North West has said yesterday's Budget will make the poorest in society even poorer.
Bob Taylor, CEO of the First Ark Group, has called on the government to look again at some of the measures announced by the Chancellor, which he claims will lead to greater hardship for those already struggling to make ends meet.
Though welcoming George Osborne's 'budget for growth', Mr Taylor said: “The one percent cap on annual benefit rises, coupled with an inflation forecast at two percent will see the poorest people becoming even poorer.
“I would ask the government to think about making sure benefits at least rise in line with inflation, rather than limiting rises to below inflation. The last thing we want to do is make people even poorer than they already are.”
He has urged the government to direct more measures for economic growth into the most deprived areas in the UK, boosting growth from a local level upwards,
He added that the cut in corporation tax to 20 percent was a "missed opportunity" by the government to invest that tax revenue into the areas of the country that need it most.
“While I recognise it is important for growth to attract businesses and jobs to the UK, some of that tax revenue could have been used to support business and job creation at a local level in the most deprived areas of the UK. We have got the employment capacity in these areas – it is a missed opportunity by the government,” said Mr Taylor.
The CEO has, however, praised the personal tax allowance increase to £10,000, which he said would help to ‘make work pay’ for those surviving on benefits, investment in infrastructure projects and the tax investment relief for social enterprise.
He also said that the extension to the shared equity scheme that will provide government loans of up to 20 percent of the cost of a new build property was a positive move for those people aspiring to own their own home but who cannot afford the large deposits needed.
“Overall it is a good budget for growth, but I am still concerned about some measures that will lead to greater hardship for the poorest in society," Mr Taylor added.
“While there were some encouraging moves to help home buyers, businesses and workers, social housing tenants in some of the most challenging areas of the country such as Knowsley are still facing incredible difficulties through welfare reform and they will find little comfort in this Budget.”