Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy & Partnerships at JRF said:
"This is a tale of two Budgets for families on low incomes. For those in work, the change to the taper rate and work allowance, alongside the National Living Wage increase, are very positive steps, allowing low-paid workers to keep more of what they earn. Together these measures improve our social security system for working families and demonstrates a serious intent to turn the tide on the pre-pandemic trend of rising in-work poverty.
“But the reality is that millions of people who are unable to work or looking for work will not benefit from these changes. The Chancellor’s decision to ignore them today as the cost of living rises risks deepening poverty among this group, who now have the lowest main rate of out-of-work support in real terms since around 1990.
“Among the people in our society who cannot work are cancer patients, people with disabilities and those caring for young children or elderly parents. Their energy bills and weekly shop are going up like everyone else’s and they face immediate hardship, hunger and and debt in the months ahead. The Chancellor had an opportunity to support families on the lowest incomes to weather the storm ahead, and he did not take it.”