Budget 2021: Portsmouth council leader asks for support those who have 'suffered most'
A COUNCIL leader has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider those who have 'suffered most' due to the pandemic, ahead of the Budget announcement.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, has written to Rishi Sunak with several demands to help protect city families and businesses.
He said: 'The NHS, key workers in many different jobs, and thousands of volunteers have worked hard to keep the city running, and the most vulnerable protected.
'I hope that the government can follow suit and produce a Budget for Portsmouth that will help local firms to survive and give real assistance to those who have suffered the most from the pandemic.'
Within the letter Cllr Vernon-Jackson outlined four specific measures including the abolition of business rates for retail - excluding large grocery stores, protecting Universal Credit payments, investing more into insulating homes and allocating more money to nurseries and pre-schools.
He added: 'We know that the impact of the pandemic has been far from equal and those on the lowest incomes have been the people who have been hit hardest. They have also been the most likely to lose their jobs or part of their wages.
'Many others have had job security and have even been able to save because they have spent less on the non-essentials. I hope that the budget supports the people on lower incomes, and also gives support to local firms that have been hit the hardest.'
The Budget announcement is set to be made at around 12.30pm tomorrow (March 3).