Rishi Sunak has used the Budget to taper Universal Credit penalties for working claimants, while cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights and increasing the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour.
In an hour-long announcement to the Commons on Wednesday, the Chancellor said investment was on the agenda to create a functioning “post-Covid economy.”
Plans include a real-terms rise in spending for every government department, as well as a freeze on fuel duty. English school funding will return to pre-austerity levels, and the banks have been awarded a 5 per cent corporation tax cut to “maintain competitiveness”.
To see how the year’s most important financial announcement affects you and your earnings, put your details into the calculator from Blick Rothenberg below to see the difference in taxes you will pay between 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Concerns have been raised over the impact of the Budget for lower-income families, its confused policies on tackling the climate emergency, and whether the spending boost is enough to offset a decade of low funding for local authorities.
What have the experts said?
The IPPR said this budget “failed to reset the economy and put it on track to a more prosperous, low carbon and fair future.
“The recovery is still remarkably fragile and subject to great uncertainty, with the IMF forecasting greater permanent damage to the UK economy than countries like the US that have invested more,” Carys Roberts, IPPR executive director, said.
“This should have been a moment to secure a strong, long-term recovery and a fairer economy with a major stimulus package focused on green industries, fixing the care crisis and redressing a decade of underinvestment in public services.
“Holding back now is being reckless with our country’s future: to be sure of an optimistic future we need to invest more.”
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition said “this Budget has plenty for champagne swilling, jet-set bankers.”
“There is nothing for people facing the choice between heating and eating this winter,” the spokesperson said. “The Chancellor’s cold words for people in fuel poverty will be heard in millions of households across the country.
“Coming on the back of the pitiful Winter Support Fund, revelations that funding is not helping those most in need and missing billions from the promised support for energy efficiency improvements, this is a bleak budget from the Government.”
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Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Housing costs are almost every family’s biggest outgoing and their biggest worry – but there was very little in the Chancellor’s budget to lighten that load. With no plan and no new money to build enough truly affordable social homes, thousands of families will remain caught in a relentless struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
“While lowering the taper rate to allow people in work to keep hold of a bit more Universal Credit is really good, it won’t reach all of the five million families hit by the recent UC cut, and it doesn’t help people unable to work because they are sick, disabled or have young children to look after.
“The government cannot level up this country if it keeps missing opportunities to sort out the housing crisis.”Internet Explorer Channel Network