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BASW responds to Budget 2021

There was nothing in this budget for social work, social care or health services and the incredibly hard-pressed workforce

Every year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers a budget to the House of Commons which sets our spending commitments and revenue collection measures that will take place over the next financial year. This budget is then debated for several days by MPs, and they finally vote on the proposals. As the budget is put forward by the party in Government, it is guaranteed to pass as they have more MPs.

Today’s budget, delivered by Rishi Sunak MP, set out the roadmap of the UK economy for the next 12 months, with a key focus on business and jobs including announcements such as the extension of the furlough scheme, a freeze on personal allowance income tax rates, and how corporations will play a key role in the rebuilding of the country’s finances.

But this budget has failed to address the impact that the pandemic has had on health and social care. The 107-page budget document has no announcement on how health and social care services will be supported, despite the lasting impact that the pandemic will have on the physical and mental wellbeing that COVID-19 and lockdown will have had on people all over the UK.

Whilst we acknowledge that the 6-month extension of the £20 Universal Credit uplift is a positive move to support people during this difficult time, we feel that the Chancellor has failed to look beyond business in this budget.

There was nothing in this budget for social work, social care or health services and the incredibly hard-pressed workforce. There was no plan - indeed virtually no mention - on how to tackle the systemic social and economic problems fuelling poverty, insecure work and the housing crisis all of which predate the pandemic and which will only worsen in its aftermath without a genuine plan to reduce inequality. We need clarity about public sector and welfare spending and improvement commitments - all of which are essential as the basis of rebuilding a healthy society and economy.

You can read more about the budget here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2021-sets-path-for-recovery