Today (13 March), Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement in the Houses of Parliament.
As conversations on Breixt continue, today’s Statement was an important watch with many people worried about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
WHAT IS IT?
Unlike the Budget, the Spring Statement is an opportunity for government and the public to learn more about forecasts on economic growth.
Revealing the overall health of the UK economy the Spring Statement is an important document, which concludes alongside the Budget. During the Spring Statement departmental budgets, a three-year budget on resource spending, and the outcome of an EU exit deal has been set.
Alongside setting budgets, Hammond updated government on the progress made since the Autumn Budget 2018 and proposed future changes for the public and business to comment on.
But, after today’s Statement, what do we know?
During his Statement, Hammond noted that the UK economy is continuing to grow, with wages increasing and unemployment at a historic low.
However, there is still a divide when it comes to disabled people in work compared to their non-disabled peers. In fact, disabled jobseekers are known to apply for 60 per cent more jobs than non-disabled workers.
Leonard Cheshire chief executive Neil Heslop comments: “While we welcome the Chancellor’s emphasis on job creation, this must be matched with polices, such as improving and promoting the Government’s Access to Work scheme, so that disabled people can be part of this change.”
Similarly, during his Statement, Hammond did not comment on the funding issues pertinent in social care situations.
There was also a significant focus on the financial implication if we experience a no-deal Brexit.
“Similarly, unless the NHS funding is coupled with robust funding for social care, disabled people will continue to face the brunt of our current care crisis,” continues Neil.
“The upcoming spending review needs to urgently address increasing demand and rationing of services, as short-term cash injections will only mask the severe underlying problems in provision.”
Due to current failures in political leadership strategies are being overlooked and solutions not being made or met.
This feeling has been even more heightened thanks to current conversations on Brexit.
Neil adds: “We continue to wait for the much-touted social care Green Paper, after delay upon delay. The benefits freeze has not been lifted. All this time, a lack of a proper plan means many disabled people continue to face an uncertain, even perilous future.”
Charitable organisations have further responded to the Statement with their disappointment in conviction to support the disabled community, and provide a clear outlook on disability funding post-Brexit.
A recent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that families with disabled adults or children are being marginalised.
The report revealed than lone disabled parents would lose over £11,000 a year on average, more than 30 per cent of their income, by the year 2021 – 22.
It is evident a lot more needs to be done in terms of supporting disabled people, their carers, and professionals; alongside securing the finances of the UK economy.