Budget 2021: A brief summary

Budget 2021: A brief summary

2 November 2021

As you’ll have seen, last week’s Budget and Spending Review announcements provided a chance for the government to share their longer-term plans for the economy, the health and social care sector, local authorities and the devolved administrations.

Although on the surface it’s been perceived as a more generous budget, concerns have been voiced that many of the pots of funding announced will be largely offsetting years of austerity and cuts. Council Tax and National Insurance (NI) are both set to increase, along with inflation, which means many of the households hardest-hit by the pandemic will continue to struggle financially as we head into a difficult winter.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation outlines what these changes will mean for five typical families.

Beyond a £560m UK-wide programme to improve numeracy in partnership with the charity National Numeracy, the sector itself did not receive much in the way of direct support. Local Authority funding though was widely mentioned, which will undoubtedly affect many charities working with government at a local level.

Here are some key points that affect charitable organisations and the people we support:

  • The £20 increase to Universal Credit during the pandemic was not reinstated. Its ‘taper rate’ will be reduced from 63% to 55% though, which is the rate payments reduce as claimants’ income from employment increases.
  • The National Living Wage will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 from April.
  • £500m for early intervention children's services including family hubs and parenting programmes.
  • More than £2.6bn for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which seeks to replace some of the funding lost from the EU, will focus on helping people into jobs and “getting on in life” across the UK.
  • £560m of funding for youth services in England over the next three years.
  • 21 projects will benefit from the £150m Community Ownership Fund, which will help communities around the UK to protect and manage their assets, such as pubs or Post Offices.
  • There will be business rate freezes and some retained cuts, especially for retail, hospitality and leisure services.
  • £850m will be given to protect museums, galleries, libraries and local culture in England.

For more in-depth analysis by our charity partner the Directory of Social Change click here.