Views from Scope, Shelter, The Children's Society, Social Finance and Age UK on the government's budget.
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive, said:
There's no place for disabled people in the Chancellor's aspiration nation.
Disabled people want to live independently. But the support they need to get up, get dressed and get out and about is being squeezed due to chronic under-funding of social care.
Neither the £72,000 cap on costs nor £118,000 means test will resolve the care crisis for disabled people, who make up a third of the people who use social care.
Life costs more if you're disabled and this is being compounded as living costs spiral and incomes flat-line. What's the Government's response? A squeeze on financial support which means many disabled people face not one, but two, three or four different cuts to vital support.
In this context it's a frightening prospect that welfare could be capped in the June spending review – having already been slashed by billions.
Some people need benefits, get over it. It doesn't make them a scrounger, it doesn't make them workshy and it doesn't make them a lay-about.
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, said:
This budget ignores business leaders, economists and even government ministers who've been calling for radical action to kick-start our economy by building more homes.
Instead, the Government has chosen to extend existing schemes for first time buyers which have so far failed to deliver on any scale. House building is currently at its lowest levels for almost a century.
This budget was a huge missed opportunity to build enough homes to make sure our children will have a stable and affordable place of their own.
Helping a small number of first time buyers today will do little to meet the aspirations of young families tomorrow.
- 3.6 million children in the UK are living in poverty.
- Of the £950 million the government has announced it will provide for additional support with child care, only £200 million will go to the country's low to middle income families receiving help through Tax Credits or Universal Credit. The full details of childcare support for families on this support is yet to be announced.
- The government's proposals are to spend £750 million to cover up to 20% of childcare costs for households not receiving Universal Credit and with no one in the household earning more than £150,000. This will be introduced from 2015.
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, said:
Children are largely absent from this budget. It gives little hope to struggling families already hit by sweeping cuts.
If the government is committed to creating an 'aspiration nation' then it must invest in this country's children.
It is good news that health and education budgets are being protected. But we are very concerned that childcare changes will fail to help families most in need of support.
Proposals to limit the flexibility of welfare expenditure increases the risk that families will find it harder to provide even the very basics for their children. The government must do much more to help low income families.
…welcomes the Chancellor's renewed commitment to the social investment market and the consultation announcement on a new tax break for social enterprises. Evidence shows that tax incentives are key to motivating and unlocking investment.
David Hutchison, CEO of Social Finance, says that tax breaks “would level the playing field to allow social enterprises to offer the same tax advantages as for profit enterprises. Enhanced access to capital will enable them to deliver impact at greater scale and play a larger part in delivering public services”.
Social Finance believes that the simplest route would be to adjust current tax advantaged schemes to allow all regulated social sector organisations (e.g. charities, community benefit Industrial and Provident Societies and Community Interest Companies) with a range of activities and trades to benefit.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said:
Whilst we welcome the earlier implementation of the care costs cap to April 2016, this will do nothing to help the 800,000 older people who need help with everyday tasks but receive no formal support.
Since this Government came to power, in real terms £700 million has been cut from social care spending, mostly as a consequence of the slashing of local authorities budgets at a time when need is rising due to our ageing population.
The future of social care is one of the most important issues facing the country. All too often the NHS and families are left to pick up the pieces when older people fail in their struggle to cope alone, which makes no moral or financial sense.
The Government must urgently address the spiralling crisis in social care by ensuring that every older person gets the help that they need when they need it.