Friday, April 24, 2009

The Budget, Town Hall, death of Jack Jones, Southwark News stuff and Hibs play well but lose again!

I was happy with this week's Budget which in such a harsh environment was firmly focused on jobs protecting the most vulnerable and stimulating the economy, all pretty good ideas in my view!

Budget Highlights:
Supporting people back into work with an extra £1.7 billion in Jobcentre Plus.
Supporting 18-24 year olds with a guaranteed job, training or work placement for all who reach 12 months unemployment.
Supporting pensioners with an additional payment alongside the Winter Fuel Payment worth £100 for households with someone aged over 80 and £50 for households with someone aged over 60
Supporting savers by raising the tax free Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs) limit to over £10,000.
Supporting families with children by increasing the Child Tax Credit by £20 a year from April 2010.
Supporting those made redundant by increasing statutory redundancy pay to £380 per week.
Supporting homeowners with a £600 million funding package to build more homes through unlocking sites currently sitting dormant
Supporting the housing market by extending the stamp duty holiday to the end of the year for properties under £175,000.
Supporting business by extending the Business Payment Support Service to help businesses experiencing short-term cash-flow difficulties.
Supporting the automotive industry by enabling people who scrap vehicles older than ten years to replace them with new vehicles at a discount of £2,000.

A busy Town Hall week with a very long but interesting OSC covering the Elephant, Aylesbury, Downtown, Housing Strategy and two Executive Member interviews, and oh yes a Call-In!!

Also Chaired Scrutiny A and finalised our Burgess Park recommendations and then had a really interesting presentation and discussion on Employment and Enterprise strategies and initiatives in Southwark to kick off our third Scrutiny task! Very sad news at the death of Jack Jones, a Camberwell resident, Spanish Civil War veteran, Trade Union giant and Pensioners Champion and a very committed and passionate individual. He will be greatly missed!!Southwark News carried good piece about my Campaign to get all Southwark's war Memorials repaired and refurbished and looking good for this year's Remembrance day! looking forward to a good response to that!

Next week I hope they will follow up a story on some Emergency Points that are lying around the borough rusting over a year!!

Hibs went down 2-3 to Rangers at Easter Road on Sunday after a much better performance than that at St.Mirren and a really good exciting high paced skillful game, a real rarity for the SPL!! Need to win most of last 5 games to get into the 4th spot and a UEFA Cup spot!!