Comment Reform statement 3 March, 2021

Reform responds to Spring Budget

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, Charlotte Pickles, Director, Reform think tank, said:

“There is a lot to welcome in today’s Budget. The Chancellor has been bold in extending COVID-related support, but has also signified serious intent to put the public finances back on track. The incentives to boost business investment and increase productivity should stimulate growth and job creation. However a strong recovery also depends on consumers spending, which the Budget was silent on. The gaping holes in otherwise encouraging programme are the lack of additional funding to tackle the ballooning care backlog and a plan for social care – which yet again has been kicked to the long grass.”

On the Universal Credit uplift retention, Charlotte said: 

“Any extension of the £20 a week UC uplift will be welcome to those desperately struggling to make ends meet. However the Chancellor has created a stark cliff edge for claimants in September, just as the furlough scheme is ending and unemployment peaks. This is bad planning and we would urge the Government to think again.”

On absence of funding to tackle the backlog of non-COVID NHS care, Reform Researcher, Sebastian Rees, said: 

“More than 4.5 million people are stuck on NHS waiting lists and this figure is only set to rise after a Winter of cancelled routine care. Clearing the care backlog will require additional investment, yet the Chancellor had nothing to say about this. Failing to act will see late diagnoses, more patient suffering and ultimately lives cut short.”