Sunak's Budget to leave poorest Britons '£280 a year worse off' as income set to stagnate

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Sunak's Budget to leave poorest Britons '£280 a year worse off' as income set to stagnate
© BBC newsnight BBC’s Ben Chu warns impact of the Budget

BBC’s Economics Editor Ben Chu has warned of the impact on personal finances and living standards Rishi Sunak’s budget will have on Britons. Mr Chu warned the Government’s measures will leave the poorest fifth of households around 280 pounds a year worse off. The Chancellor announced his autumn budget yesterday in the House of Commons, setting out a series of tax cuts and a boost to benefits to help Britons with the cost of living.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mr Chu said: “So the chancellor hailed today-higher wages, higher incomes, but households are not going to be feeling that much cheer at least according to OBR’s latest forecast today.

“Because despite that minimum wage increase that the chancellor announced, elevated inflation and tax increases are projected to drag down average living standards next year.

“Now the Universal Credit taper curve, which of course, is the rate at which benefits are withdrawn when people are earning, that will help many people.

“Let’s be clear, it’s not going to offset the fact that the Universal Credit uplift was allowed to expire.”

Sunak's Budget to leave poorest Britons '£280 a year worse off' as income set to stagnate
© Getty Images Rishi Sunak’s measures will affect personal finances

He went on: “Now, according to the calculations of the Resolution Foundation, the government’s measures all taken in the round including that expiry of the uplift, will leave the poorest fifth of households around 280 pounds a year worse off.

“But step back from that as well because we’ve had an exceptionally weak decade of average household income growth.

“And in these latest predictions, typical household incomes are projected to remain very weak for at least the next two years.

“The hard reality for this Government is that there is nothing in these forecasts, which supports the idea put about by some ministers that the post-Brexit labour shortages, for instance, are going to help drive up productivity.”

“Or that we’re entering in the Chancellor’s phrase a ‘new era of optimism’ for the UK living standards.”

In his speech, Rishi Sunak promised proposals to build “a stronger economy for the British people” after the coronavirus crisis.

He referred to this as an “age of optimism”.

The Chancellor announced he would lower the taper rate of Universal Credit from 63% to 55%.

This entails that for every extra £1 someone earns, their Universal Credit will be reduced by 55p rather than 63p.

He also set out tax changes, announcing a new post-Brexit system of alcohol duties.

This includes a lower rate of tax on draught beer and cider to boost pubs.

However, there were no measures to assist householders with rising domestic gas and electricity bills.

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