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Welfare Cap to leave sour taste in JAM budget

  • 23/11/2016

Turn2us, a national charity that helps people in financial hardship, has welcomed several of the proposed changes to welfare benefits announced in today’s Autumn Statement, in particular the declaration that there will be no further welfare savings beyond those announced in this parliament. 

The charity also said that raising personal tax-free allowance to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000, by the end of this Parliament, raising the national living wage from £7.20 to £7.50 in April next year, and the reduction in the Universal Credit taper rate from April from 65% to 63%, will help many households that are currently managing financially but vulnerable to an unexpected change in circumstance.  

However, it is raising concerns about the future impact of the announcement of a welfare spending cap set by government and monitored by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) as part of fiscal rule 3. 

Commenting on the Autumn Statement, that was delivered today by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said:

“Several of the measures such as raising the personal tax-free allowance and the national living wage will help families that are struggling financially, and those that are living in poverty. That difference may be small, but it could mean the difference between a family being able to save or not, being able to deal with an income shock such as a new baby or illness, or it forcing them into debt to make ends meet.

“However, the announcement of the welfare cap, which is a significant strategic measure, is very concerning. If triggered, it will have a profound impact on the lives of many people in the UK. This leaves the most economically vulnerable with huge uncertainty.

“It is therefore, not only imperative that they are quickly informed of the financial support that is available to them to help them deal with this uncertainty, but if the cap is triggered, clarity as to how the cuts will be applied. This is particularly important as it comes on top of the inevitable economic uncertainty as we clarify our relationship with the rest of the European Union. “

Visit the Turn2us website - Turn2us.org.uk – to use its free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools to check what you might be able to claim or apply for.
 

-ENDS-

For further information and interviews with Turn2us case studies or spokespeople, please contact:

Una Farrell, Communications Manager on:

una.farrell@turn2us.org.uk or 0208 834 9259

 

About Turn2us:

  • Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services – online, by phone and face to face through partners and volunteers
  • The Turn2us website includes a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for support from over 3,000 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help people in financial hardship
  • Turn2us can also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific funds that are managed directly by the charity, including the Elizabeth Finn Fund which supports people from over 120 different professions
  • For more information, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk