Protest to Chancellor George Osborne on ‘unfair’ cuts hitting East End

MPs and councillors from London’s deprived East End have protested to the government against “unfair” public spending cuts ahead of today’s Autumn Statement by the Chancellor.

George Osborne’s mini Spending Review could see town hall budgets slashed further, with Tower Hamlets already facing rocketing cuts of more than �100 million, Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick pointed out.

He joined Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali and London Assembly and Tower Hamlets Labour Opposition members yesterday to deliver a letter to the Chancellor to highlight “the disproportionate burden” on the East End.

“We all knew the cuts were being targeted in an unfair way,” he claimed. “East London is one of the most deprived areas in the country and cuts averaging �238 a person are grossly unfair.

“David Cameron’s own West Oxfordshire local authority loses only �34 a head by comparison.

“We’re being hit hard, far more so than west London and the Tory heartland.”

Many cuts including welfare budgets do nothing to help people back to work, the letter points out. The real problem facing families was the government’s policy of “chasing cuts rather than promoting new jobs.”

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The letter comes only days after Labour Opposition councillors called on Tower Hamlets’ Mayor to rein in spending pledges “rather than leave the council bankrupt.”

Labour’s Lead Member for Resources, Carlo Gibbs, said: “We are urging the Chancellor to hold back from further cuts because the mayor refuses to acknowledge the �44m ‘black hole’ he’s built up in council finances.”

Budget cuts are already costing households in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney and Newham an average �238 a head, compared to less than �30 in areas like Richmond and Kingston, according to research by Newcastle City Council last month.