Our thoughts on the autumn statement
Commenting on today's (November 22) autumn statement, Sebrina McCullough, head of external relations here at Money Wellness, said:
“There are some real positives in today’s autumn statement. We welcome Jeremy Hunt’s announcement today that universal credit and benefits will increase in line with September’s inflation rate and a cut in national insurance contributions from 6 January will ensure more money in people’s pockets. And by unfreezing local housing allowance, he’s given a boost to millions of low-income renters.
“However, it’s still a bleak outlook for many, with food prices rising by over 25% in the past two years and a cold winter ahead. We’d have liked to have seen some provision for energy support for the most financially vulnerable who’re facing a hike in heating bills from January, combined with substantial rises in standing charges – many households no longer have the option to keep bills low by not turning on their heating.
“The chancellor could have also taken thousands of families out of poverty by doing away with the two-child cap on benefits – we feel this is a real missed opportunity. Abolishing the cap would cost £1.3 billion a year but the impact would be transformational for low-income families, taking 250,000 children out of poverty with a further 850,000 becoming less deeply entrenched in poverty.
“There’s still much more to be done to help households through the cost-of-living crisis.”
A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.
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