The Chancellor of the Exchequer, has today [17 November 2022] delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons.
In response to the statement, Caron Bradshaw OBE, CEO, Charity Finance Group, comments:
“The Chancellor’s autumn statement today wasn’t as dire as many of us were anticipating. Much of what the sector has called for has been delivered and we’re delighted that we can say that.
“Our call for benefits to rise in line with inflation were heard, and our call for clarity on energy support schemes is being addressed. This will go some way towards supporting the most vulnerable in our society and will help households and charities to plan ahead.
“We are pleased that the government didn’t make further cuts to international development, but global problems need global solutions, and the government offered none.
“The headline investment in health, social care and education is to be welcomed, but what is below the surface trails a really tough future of continued uncertainty, squeezed public sector wages and the absorption of a greater portion of public spending cuts for other government departments. A winter of increased industrial action seems inevitable.
“Overall, todays’ autumn statement has left us with an overwhelming sense that we have been here before. Rather than getting under the skin of today’s economic and social problems, the government has effectively announced austerity 2.0.
“What is particularly worrying is the strengthening narrative that the way for us to lift ourselves out of what the Chancellor described the “doom loop” is for certain sections of the public to work harder or get ‘better’ jobs. The fact remains that work is not lifting millions of people out of poverty.
“The expected 7% reduction in living standards over the next two years will be devastating for many. We are still in very difficult times. The Chancellor has ticked some boxes and, whilst we remain hopeful, it is by no means certain that his plan for stability and growth will work. Once again, our sector and the people we serve are bracing for a very tough and challenging time ahead.”
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