Budget maintains critical support for the vulnerable
With the cost-of-living crisis impacting on thousands of the borough’s residents, supporting the most vulnerable will be at the heart of the council’s budget for 2023/24.
Haringey is facing several pressures beyond its control, including spiralling inflation and high interest rates, high demand for vital services and the knock-on effects of the pandemic.
Despite these challenges and the lack of adequate and sustainable funding from central government, next year and beyond the council is committing to maintaining its critical funding of adults and children’s services, ongoing support for residents who need it most and investing in frontline services.
The budget proposals, which were agreed by the council’s Cabinet last week, include almost £11m additional support for our most vulnerable residents, through increasing budgets for Children’s and Adults for the third year running.
Council Leader, Cllr Peray Ahmet and Cllr Sarah Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance and Local Investment, said: “Next year’s budget is being developed against a backdrop of an unprecedented combination of economic uncertainty, high inflation and reduced central government funding, so we are having to work harder than ever before to continue to deliver on our priorities.
“Despite the increasingly challenging circumstances, our budget once again sees continued investment in those things that are at the heart of our values as an administration.
“We’re particularly proud of our huge investment in care for our most vulnerable residents and our enhanced support for those who are suffering most from the cost-of-living crisis.
“We will be extending free school meals to an additional 650 children. We’d like to be able to offer this support to many more pupils but need additional funding from central government.
“As well as addressing the high demand for vital services right now, we are once again investing in the future with additional funding for highways, parks, school buildings, and our new youth hub.
“We will also continue to improve services by getting the basics right – in line with the Haringey Deal - through greater efficiency, making better use of technology, reviewing contracts and improving commissioning.”
The council is dedicated to investing for the long term by strengthening its approach to the climate emergency and providing additional funds for the public realm such as cycling and walking infrastructure, roads, pavements and streetlights.
Additional spending will also include money for parks and green spaces, school buildings and properties to provide high quality, temporary accommodation.
The major programme to deliver a new generation of council homes will continue, as well as substantial improvements for existing council homes.
As the cost-of-living crisis continues, the budget will help ease the financial burden facing families in the borough by extending free school meals to 650 children who are just above the entitlement threshold and continuation of the Haringey Support Fund, Financial Support Team and the expanded Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
Proposals for total new growth of £14.8m in next year’s budget will be made possible by continued efforts to drive efficiencies from focussing on getting the basics right and generating all the income due to the council.
Consultation on the budget launched this week, allowing residents to have their say on the proposals ahead of a final decision in February 2023.
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