This morning I spoke in the House of Commons during the budget debate.

The Chancellor’s budget, unveiled on Wednesday, does nothing for the thousands of hard pressed Islington families struggling to make ends meet.

It does nothing to increase the supply of affordable homes, and it does nothing for the private renters who are being forced by out of control housing costs to live in unsuitable, often severely overcrowded conditions, or to leave the borough altogether.

The budget’s total silence on NHS funding rings alarm bells too. The Tories have committed to an additional £30 billion of spending cuts without a clear plan for protecting the NHS. It’s difficult under these circumstances to see how the vital public services Islington relies on will be protected.

This was a budget that was more about gimmicks than substance, and today Eric Pickles was more interested in cheap political point-scoring than serious solutions to Islington’s challenges.

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