Today’s Budget has been praised by business groups for extending support – but charities say social care has been left behind.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak used his Budget to extend the furlough scheme and Universal Credit increase as part of a £65 billion lifeline for the economy as it emerges from the pandemic.
But taxes on business profits are set to be hiked from 2023, taking the total tax burden to its highest level since the 1960s, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Debbie Sheldon, CEO of employment charity Work Avenue, said while the increase in corporation tax to 25 per cent was steep, that overall a fair balance had been struck on taxes for businesses.
“I think everyone understands that we have got to pay back this huge deficit we have got at the moment,” she said.
She welcomed news of furlough being extended until September, but added that increased support for social care was the glaring omission from this year’s Budget.
The sentiment was echoed by the CEO of Kisharon, a learning disability charity, Richard Franklin. “Clearly it’s a disappointing budget from a social care perspective. One can only hope that the government has a longer-term plan for the promised change in health and social care infrastructure,” he said.
“If the ongoing pandemic highlights anything, it is the life and death impact of enduring discrimination and inequalities in social care impacting the most vulnerable in our country.”
Among the headline grabbing measures – which include freezing income tax thresholds until April 2026 – is £19m in funding for ‘respite rooms’ for homeless women and schemes which aim to stop perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Campaigners warned that extra clarity is needed on what it entails. “We join our colleagues across our sector by urging the government to provide further details of this funding, as it’s currently unclear what ‘respite rooms’ are,” said the chief executive of Jewish Women’s Aid, Naomi Dickson.
“Whilst funding for working with perpetrators is important, it must never come at the expense of funding lifesaving support for survivors.”
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