Spring Statement: Household support fund to ‘double’ to £1bn

By Michael Burton and William Eichler | 23 March 2022

The Household Support fund is to ‘double’ to £1bn, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

The Chancellor’s update of the public finances was made against the challenging background of a cost of living crisis and increased pressures arising from the war in Ukraine.

The Household Support fund is  to ‘double’ to £1bn, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
The Chancellor’s update of the public finances was made against the challenging background of a cost of living crisis and increased pressures arising from the war in Ukraine.

Mr Sunak announced that the Household Support Fund would ‘double’ from £500m to £1bn because local authorities are ‘best placed to help those in their local areas’ with the cost of living crisis.

The Chancellor also announced that the Government will raise the threshold for the amount people earn before they pay National Insurance.

‘From this July, people will be able to earn £12,570 a year without paying a single penny of income tax or National Insurance,’ he said. ‘That’s a £6bn personal tax cut for 30 million people across the United Kingdom.

‘A tax cut for employees worth over £330 a year.’

Other measures announced today, included a fuel duty cut of 5p per litre, which will be in place until March next year. VAT on materials designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes will also be scrapped.

Mr Sunak concluded by announcing that before the end of Parliament in 2024, ‘for the first time in 16 years’, the basic rate of income tax will be cut from 20p to 19p in the pound.‘A new Efficiency and Value for Money Committee will be set up to cut £5.5bn worth of ‘cross-Whitehall waste with savings to be used to fund public services.’

Responding to the Spring Statement, Cllr Shaun Davies, chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said he was pleased there would be an extra £500m to provide targeted support for those facing hardship, but he added: ‘Councils will need maximum flexibility and quick details on allocations, so they can ensure this funding reaches those in need and can be used to prevent families from reaching crisis point.

‘Local government itself continues to face significant financial challenges. Inflationary pressures, our own wage bill and energy price rises, as well as the ongoing cost of dealing with and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, look increasingly likely to make 2022-23 significantly more challenging for councils than initially estimated when the Government made its funding decisions as part of the Spending Review.

‘We remain clear that this continued pressure cannot be met by council tax rises alone.’

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