'You can see where their priorities are': Islington reacts to the Budget

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October. Picture: House o

Chancellor Rishi Sunak divided opinion with his budget - Credit: PA

Islington’s political leaders wasted little time in picking holes in the Budget - which Labour has called out as good news only for the wealthy.

Rishi Sunak has refused to commit to cutting taxes before the next general election after his speech yesterday (Wednesday, October 27) took the burden to its highest level in 40 years.

The Chancellor also said the measures he put in place to protect jobs when the crisis broke last year meant the economy was now recovering strongly while unemployment was far lower than many people had feared.

He also announced: 

  • Universal Credit will be cut by 8 per cent from not later than December 1,
  • The planned rise in fuel duty will be cancelled, 
  • A drought relief will apply a lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider,
  • Domestic flights will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger duty,
  • A £300 million for “A Start for Life” parenting programmes,
  • A levy will be placed on property developers with profits over £25m at a rate of 4pc to help create a fund to remove unsafe cladding,
  • Overseas aid would return to 0.7pc of national income,
  • The OBR also downgraded its unemployment forecast from 12pc down to 5.2pc.

Islington Labour said in a statement afterwards: “Tax cuts for banks and frequent flyers, tax rises for working people. 

“Yesterday’s Tory Budget delivered a £5bn council tax bombshell. 

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“With the cost of living rising, the last thing families in Islington need is another tax hike.”

Labour’s Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South, took to Twitter to provide her analysis of the finer detail. 

She wrote: “Almost 2.5 times as much will be spent by the government over the next nine months supporting exports from small firms in the South East than will be spent supporting small firms in the North East.”

Her Islington North counterpart Jeremy Corbyn retweeted an accounting professor's analysis which concluded: “The government says it can't keep triple-lock on state pensions but gives billions to bankers.”

Mr Corbyn added: “Spot on... You don't need to look far before seeing who really benefits from the Budget and what Tory priorities are!"

In a borough dominated by Labour members, elected voices of support for Mr Sunak are few and far between. 

But Islington Council's sole Conservative member Cllr Rakhia Ismail showed her colours by retweeting support for her new party. 

The former mayor, who defected from Labour last year, retweeted a message to say: "[This] will deliver a stronger economy for the British people."