SIGOMA Chair responds to Budget

Posted on March 06, 2024

Responding to today’s Budget, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) said:

It is welcome that the Household Support Fund will continue beyond the end of March following heavy lobbying from councils and charities. However, it is disappointing that the scheme will only be extended for 6 months, rather than a full year, meaning that, once again, there will be uncertainty about the future of the fund, as there has been in recent months. Today’s confirmation, just weeks before the next financial year, continues the trend of last-minute announcements from the Government. This vital funding, and local government funding in general, should be set out over multiple years to ensure certainty and stability.

The Chancellor sticking to a 1% increase in public spending implies significant cuts for ‘unprotected’ departments such as local government over the coming years. At a time when local government finances are at breaking point, following a decade of cuts and rapidly rising demand-led pressures, further cuts would be devastating and push many councils to the brink of financial viability.

Read coverage of our response in the following publications:

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton also responded to the Budget with an article in the Municipal Journal.

The extension of the Household Support Fund follows campaigning from SIGOMA and other groups for the Fund to continue.

Read our letter to the Chancellor here.

Read our article in the Municipal Journal about the importance of the Household Support Fund here.