Budget boosts employment but living standards falling

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced an impressively broad suite of policies in the Spring Budget to encourage more people into work, but Britain’s economy remains stuck in a ‘deep funk’, according to the Resolution Foundation thinktank.

Although the thinktank says Mr Hunt will succeed in boosting employment, it warned of a ‘disastrous decade for living standards’ with real household disposable incomes now lower than they were pre-pandemic.

The Budget did welcome changes to childcare support as ‘much needed help for parents’ that will encourage more parents to work.

However, it criticised the changes to pension allowances as ‘an unneeded tax break for wealthy pension savers’.

Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘Jeremy Hunt’s first Budget was a much bigger affair than many expected, combining improvements to the dire economic and fiscal outlook with a significant policy package aimed at boosting longer-term growth in general, and the size of the workforce in particular. A step change in childcare support stands out.

‘But stepping back the UK’s underlying challenges remain largely unchanged. We are investing too little and growing too slowly. Our citizens’ living standards are stagnant. We ask them to pay higher taxes, while cutting public services.’

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