Budget 2021: Furlough extension praised but social care ‘left behind’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Budget 2021: Furlough extension praised but social care ‘left behind’

Jewish groups have reacted to the budget, which is set to take the tax burden to its highest level since the 1960s

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget. Picture date: Wednesday March 3, 2021.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget. Picture date: Wednesday March 3, 2021.

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.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Budget to the House of Commons. Picture date: Wednesday March 3, 2021.

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.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivers his Budget to the House of Commons. Picture date: Wednesday March 3, 2021.

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.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments