Hackney South MP Meg Hillier joined fellow MP Dianne Abbot in voicing concerns over the effect of Chancellor George Osbourne’s new budget on the borough of Hackney this week.
In a speech in the Commons, Hillier said: “There is more hidden pain for many of my constituents in the depths of this Budget.
She later said: “Thanks to Government policy, even social housing will be out of the reach of many”
In the new budget Osbourne gave the green light to the proposed £27bn Crossrail2 development which will see a station built in Dalston to serve the new high-speed north-south London rail line.
Residents living near the planned line have expressed worries as certain buildings will be bulldozed to make way for the rail line, slated to be up and running by 2033.
Hillier addressed the Government’s move to turn all schools into academies by 2022 when she said: “My borough of Hackney is no stranger to academies. When they were first unveiled, Hackney’s schools were among the worst in the country. I pay tribute to the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe… [and] the huge work of Hackney’s heads and teachers, our schools are now among the very best in the country.”
“In spite of our embracing academies, among other school models, they are not a simple solution. The structure is not what makes education good. We need good teaching and good leadership. That is what gets results.”
She added: “Academy status is unsustainable in practice for small primary schools, which will force them into chains.”
The new budget was also addressed by Dianne Abbot MP, who in an interview with the Hackney Post said: “The Chancellor’s latest budget paints a rosy picture but this couldn’t be further from the truth for Hackney.”
Abbot added that Osborne is “trying to pull the wool over our eyes” with a series of “risible” claims.
Osbourne’s budget took £650m out of the NHS by changes to public sector pensions that leave employers fielding extra costs according to Lib Dem research, which Hillier said: “[Osbourne] did not mention in his speech today”.
She said the NHS had “real deep-seated financial problems” and was heading for a “£22bn black hole” if the chancellors don’t stop treating the question of how the NHS is funded like, “a political football.”