Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

A response to the Autumn Statement

December 5th 2012

The rise in welfare payments, inside and outside of work, will be limited to 1 per cent. Osborne states that this is below inflation but emphasizes that it is in line with average rises in private sector pay. Of course many people who rely on benefits are in fact working.

The Chancellor expects the uprating by 1 per cent, below the rate of inflation, to save £3.6bn over next three years and that it will ensure we have a welfare system we can afford. But the changes come on top of current reforms to social security and will squeeze people still further. And by setting the rate for three years those already squeezed the tightest have a long and tough road ahead of them.

We can welcome an increase in personal tax allowance, an increase of £235, which means people can earn £9,440 before paying tax. But whilst it appears to be putting money back into the pockets of many it is also taking money from many, a little in one hand, a lot taken out of the other. For example, whilst a typical family will benefit from the scrapping of the 3p increase in fuel duty and the increase in tax allowance, they will be out of pocket after the real terms reduction in Child Benefit, Working Tax Credits and any help with housing costs that they receive.

The distinction between the uprating of disability and carers’ benefits, and other benefits, risks creating divide and rule amongst different benefit claimants, between what the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor.

The changes to benefits are cuts by stealth, and mean that people in the‘squashed bottom’ will feel the most pressure; pushing families nearer the edge.

Instead of clamping down harder on tax avoidance and go after the millions, the Chancellor choses to go after the vital pennies of those most vulnerable in our society.

 
Leanne-Marie Cotter is the Researcher for the Cuts Watch Cymru project 
 
Leanne will be writing a full response as a blog post later this week. 

Comments are closed.

In Print

Members' Magazine

untitled

Exchange March 2015

Our new magazine for members puts all those working for social justice in Wales in touch with each other. With a fresh new look, new features and columnists and a focus on ideas and best practice, Exchange  offers:  opportunities to Read more »

Review 26 Cover 300 x 400

Review 26

Review no. 26 features some challenging articles on public service reform, local democracy and engaging with people – public bodies in Wales sadly have a long way to go. We also take a look at the relationship between work and health, reveal the perverse impact Read more »

More from the Members' Magazine »

Other Publications

FullSizeRender-3

Women’s Equality Now: Devolution

Wales has long celebrated its achievements in bringing gender equality into public and political life.  But there are questions about how deep those changes went, and whether they will be sustained in coming years. This briefing highlights what devolution did for women’s representation Read more »

More from Other Publications »

Newsletter

Keep up to Date

Don’t miss our ideas and opportunities – sign up to our monthly e-newsletter.

Support Us

Make a Difference

Help Wales to be fair, prosperous and sustainable - and get some great benefits too!

Join / Donate »

Events

July 7th 2015

The 2015 Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing

The 2015 Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing will be announced and awarded at an event in the House of Commons on Tuesday 7th July 2015, where nominees will be joined by guests to celebrate their work in the field of health and wellbeing and commitment to NHS values.