An MP has blasted the Autumn Statement as “ideologically-driven Tory austerity” as millions are set to pay more taxes.

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, responded to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement by saying that Conservative governments have “decimated local authorities like Brighton and Hove”.

She has, however, welcomed new funding for insulation, but says that more needs to be done to support the community.

Lucas said: “Our Government has chosen to pursue even more devastating austerity cuts in the name of political ideology, not economic necessity – and refuses to admit that Brexit has made the situation so much harder.

“When people are in such desperate need, many turn to our public services for support. Yet years of Tory austerity have decimated local authorities like Brighton & Hove.

“Meanwhile rents are rising at record rates, yet more than one in three private renters in Brighton and Hove need housing benefit. Rather than invest in Local Housing Allowance, the gap between rents and housing benefit has been left shamefully wide.”

In today’s announcement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that the government would freeze income tax brackets and introduce a windfall tax for energy companies.

Caroline Lucas also welcomed the government’s decision for funding for insulation as well as an increase in the National Living Wage but said that the rise did not go far enough.

She added: “I’m certainly glad to see new funding for insulation – but where’s the urgency? For people facing fuel poverty this very winter, we need new money to be delivered this Parliament, not money recycled from other pots.

The Argus: Chancellor Jeremy HuntChancellor Jeremy Hunt

“And why stop there? We should be seeing free childcare to ease the cost-of-living burden for struggling families; a National Minimum Wage of £15 an hour; and decent pay increases for public sector workers, from nurses to rail workers, that take into account rising inflation and don’t leave them even worse off than before.

“Local councils are the lifeblood of our communities – helping to lift people out of poverty, ensure public services are thriving, and tackle the climate emergency. We must ditch ideologically-driven Tory austerity now.”