Yet more massive Labour cuts to housing and regeneration budgets for Newcastle

July 21, 2009 12:05 PM

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone has accused the Labour Government of betraying the city after the Government sneaked out an announcement on massive cuts to housing and regeneration budgets just hours before the end of the Parliamentary year, avoiding opportunities for the cuts to be debated by MPs.

The hitlist, which includes a significant number of budgets affecting Newcastle, includes:

A £130 million reduction in the Housing Growth Fund for 2010/2011 - a 44% cut to an important budget designed to support new infrastructure for new housing developments

A £150 million reduction in Decent Homes funding in 2010/2011 for Arms Length Management Organisations of council houses including Your Homes Newcastle - a 20% cut

A £75 million cut in funding for improving private rented properties.

In addition there will be a £50 million cut in "unallocated funding" and £183 million in "efficiency savings" at the Homes and Communities Agency,

Reacting, Greg Stone said "The scale of these cuts is staggering and is a cause of extreme concern in Newcastle, particularly in terms of the effect on the Decent Homes Programme for council houses. Many people in Newcastle who have had to wait til the end of the programme for improvements to their properties will be extremely concerned at the implication that money may not now be available. I am also very unhappy that important funding streams for both private sector rented property improvements and supporting new infrastructure for regeneration will also be cut."

"This is a betrayal for council and private rented tenants and is further evidence that Labour has lost control of Government spending. It is disgraceful that this announcement has been sneaked out to minimise Parliamentary scrutiny. I call on the Minister for the North East to issue a statement confirming the likely impact on the North East, as there is a very real concern that these cuts are being used to make headroom for additional spending on new homes in the South East."

"It is little wonder that the city council's bid for regeneration cash to fund the renewal of the Byker Estate was unsuccessful - the Government have clearly run out of funds."