Tower Hamlets Councillors in show of unity over George Osborne’s budget

PUBLISHED: 15:25 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:25 22 March 2013

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

They may not be able to agree on Tower Hamlets Council’s budget – but Independent and Labour councillors have unified to slam George Osborne’s plans for the nation’s finances.

Writing in next week’s paper, Independent Mayor Lutfur Rahman – who has had to swallow amendments tabled by Labour in next year’s council budget – called on the chancellor to abandon the austerity regime.

“Now it is possible to read some of the small print behind George Osborne’s ‘aspirational budget’, my aspiration is that he ceases to be chancellor of the exchequer as soon as is possible”, he writes.

“Here in Tower Hamlets, we have tried to fend off the worst effects of Tory austerity. I didn’t go into politics to take from the poor and disadvantaged, and my recent budget was designed to safeguard frontline services and protect people from the worst effects of the government cuts.”

Mayor Rahman reserved special praise for Labour leader Ed Milliband – but attacked the “unholy coalition” between Labour and Tory councillors in Tower Hamlets after they voted together to force amendments to his preferred budget for the borough.

But Tower Hamlets Labour councillors and MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali echoed his attack on the Mr Osborne’s budget, unveiled in Parliament on Wednesday.

Spokesperson for resources Cllr Carlo Gibbs said: “People in Tower Hamlets are suffering daily from the pain the chancellor’s policies are causing, what we need is a plan for jobs and growth not yet more of the same.

“In two weeks the government will give a tax cut to millionaires at the same time as cutting support for hard working families, how much more misguided could the chancellor’s priorities be?”

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