The Chancellor delivered a Spring Statement or mini budget yesterday that aims to put billions of pounds back into the pockets of hard-working people – unveiling a new Tax Plan to ease the rising cost of living and to deliver the biggest cut to personal taxes. But did he succeed?
The key takeaways from his speech included:
- Fuel duty will be cut by 5p per litre from last night until March 2023
- The income threshold for when people start paying National Insurance will rise by £3,000 to £12,570 in July, which Mr Sunak said was tax cut for employees worth over £330 a year
- Mr Sunak also pledged to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p to 19p in the pound before the end of this Parliament in 2024
Will this help the sector?
Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF), one of our partners welcomed the announced increase to the NI threshold, ‘which we hope will help many of those working in social care from July onwards.’
She added: ‘The 5p cut in fuel duty is also welcome and will also help both employees and employers but is in no way sufficient to deal with the price increases that will fall particularly hard on domiciliary care provision.’
However, Ms Rayner noted that the Chancellor’s statement did not address the pressures already placed on social care because of COVID.
‘With a week to go, the government has been completely silent on what 1 April and the assumptions about ‘living with COVID’ mean for those receiving care and support, their loved ones or the adult social care workforce.’
‘It is of grave concern that there was no recognition in the Spring Statement of the need to continue the Infection Control and Testing Fund, which provides financial support to help the sector navigate COVID. This comes to an end on 31 March, and yet all guidance continues to point to significant expectations around testing, infection control, isolation and the ongoing management of outbreaks within services. For social care this seems less about ‘living with COVID,’ and more about ‘living without a plan’.’
Further information: Spring Statement 2022
The NCF is calling for clarity urgently on the plans to ‘live with COVID’ in adult social care and for ongoing financial support for the sector in recognition that COVID has not gone away and the costs for managing infection prevention and control are still here.