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BASW responds to Budget and Spending Review 2021

BASW CEO Ruth Allen comments:

“Today the Chancellor stood up in the House of Commons and delivered a budget statement that was full of catchy one-liners and attention-grabbing announcements – but for many of the people that use social work services, this budget has done very little to help them after an incredibly difficult 18 months.

“As expected, the Chancellor announced a reduction in the Universal Credit taper rate. But this does not even come close to replacing the money lost by the Universal Credit cut. The lowest earners will still be worse off. The Chancellor also fails to recognise that for those who cannot work, his announcements have done nothing to help them.

“Social workers are on the frontline, and see first-hand the impact that poverty has on people. Social workers see how poverty can make everyday life difficult and challenging. The impact it has on children, disabled people, people with mental health illness, older people, and families.

“Some of the announcements are welcome, such as the creation of family hubs in England, local government being given £4.8bn new grant funding over the next 3 years, and more money to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, but we will have to see how these work in practice, and whether they deliver the support that people truly need. For example, family hubs are being viewed as a restart of the Sure Start programme, which many key figures in the UK Government voted to cut.

"We will continue to look at the detail as it comes to light, but early analysis of the budget is that it is the hardest hit by COVID-19 and austerity that will continue to pay the price.”