Cllr Martin Hill OBE, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, and Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for economy, have given their reactions to today’s announcements by the chancellor.
Cllr Hill said: “The Autumn Statement has set out the government’s plan for restoring stability, promoting growth and protecting public services, and I’m sure residents will welcome the additional support for the most vulnerable and the extra investment in the NHS and education.
“We won’t know how much funding we’ll receive from the government for 2023/24 until the end of the year, but they are providing greater flexibility on council tax. Rising inflation and increased demand for services will inevitably present challenges, which we will need to consider during our budget setting process.
“The government has recognised the challenges facing the adult care sector, arising from the growing number of over 80s, and the additional funding announced for this area is positive news. Although it is frustrating that the planned social care reforms have been delayed by a further two years, the short-term savings this will bring can be used to support our most vulnerable residents.
“We noted the chancellor’s comments about the importance of good roads for economic growth, and we hope this is reflected in this year’s highways maintenance grant. In a rural area like Lincolnshire, good roads are vital for both residents and businesses, and we have been campaigning strongly over the last few years for a fairer share of government funding.
“Finally, the announcement of further devolution deals again underlined that this is the government’s preferred vehicle for extra investment in local areas, and that there is a risk that Lincolnshire could be left behind, unless we move forward at pace. So, we will continue to work closely with partners across Greater Lincolnshire to ensure progress on this continues.”
Cllr Davie added: “We will need to assess the overall position that our residents and businesses will be facing following today’s announcements.
“For example, an increase in the national living wage will go some way to help working residents have more money in their pockets, but as our economy relies predominantly on small businesses in Lincolnshire, they will struggle with this new burden as employers.
“Therefore, it’s more important than ever that we all support our small local businesses in Lincolnshire and keep our money in our local economy if we want them to survive.
“As always, we are committed to working with the Federation of Small Business, Chambers of Commerce, our LEP and others once the budget analysis is complete, to clarify the impacts of the budget, and to feed this back to government.”