BASW UK responds to Autumn Statement
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt today delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons, outlining government plans on spending and taxation.
During his statement, the Chancellor said that he was delivering a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and rebuild the economy. He said that in the face of unprecedented global headwinds, families, pensioners, businesses, teachers, nurses and many others are worried about the future.
What did the Chancellor announce?
- Benefits will increase with inflation (10.1%) with the benefit cap also lifted
- Social rent increase will be capped at 7%
- Energy Price Guarantee will continue for further 12 months
- NHS budget will increase in each of the next 3 years by £3.3bn
- Long term workforce plan in NHS and Social Care on its way
- Social care cost cap delayed for 2 years, with money being diverted to local authorities to provide care
- Up to £4.7bn being made available for adult social care in 2024-25
- An extra £2.3 billion invested in schools over the next two years
Despite some positive announcements in the statement, the Government chose not to further rebalance the burden of additional tax revenue, such as ending ‘non-dom’ status.
BASW UK wrote to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition laying out our position that the Government must announce measures to alleviate poverty and protect the hardest hit by the cost of living. We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that benefits will be uprated in line with inflation.
Responding to the statement, BASW UK’s Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen said:
“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of additional funding to tackle the cost of living, such as uprating benefits in line with inflation. But uprating benefits was the minimum action that a Government committed to improving standards of living should deliver, and it is does not magically fix the other problems that are facing people hardest hit by rising prices. Benefits were already at a paltry level and uprating with inflation simply means that people who receive benefits are not worse off.
“Parts of the Autumn statement today are welcome, but there are still many unanswered and under-resourced problems including insufficient funds to fill the hole in social care. Local authorities remain at severe risk across all their municipal responsibilities across the UK. The 2-year delay in introducing the social care cost cap must not be wasted, and the Government should use this time to develop ambition for a better and more joined up care and support services.
"We will continue to campaign against poverty, inequality and true reversal of the impact of years of austerity on services and society.”