The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – summary of relevant measures
21 November 2022
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt set out the Autumn Statement last week.
There were no specific funding initiatives for youth policy within the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). There was, however, an increase of £ 2.3 billion per annum for “core schools funding” at the Department of Education (DfE) for the next two years.
Cost of living measures
The Treasury has published an updated policy paper factsheet that can be found here.
The most notable headline measures are:
- A 10.1% real-terms increase in benefits including universal credit to match inflation
- A legally-enforceable minimum wage for those aged over 23 to increase from £9.50 to £10.42 an hour from April 2023
- Social housing rent increases, which will be capped at 7% from next April
Energy price cap
- The household energy price cap will rise to £3,000 in April 2023 from the current average of £2,500
- More than eight million households on means-tested benefits will receive a cost-of-living payment of £900 in instalments, with £300 to pensioners and £150 for people on disability benefits
- The non-domestic energy cap that will apply from April 2023 to businesses, and to the charity sector, is still under review and the approach will be announced by the end of the year
London Youth has been making the case to Government around the urgency of ongoing support for grassroots community organisations, both in relation to the energy cap, as well as on wider cost-of-living support.
- There is a twelve-month extension to the Household Support Fund, helping Local Authorities to assist those who might otherwise fall through the cracks
- Councils that provide social care are allowed to increase council tax from just under 3% to 5% next year
London Councils have highlighted that were they to use the maximum council tax increases that would still raise only £80 million of the £700 million anticipated funding shortfall they face next year. This will inevitably impact children and young people’s services at local level, and by extension put further pressures on the non-statutory youth sector.
There have been further ministerial changes of relevance to the youth sector over the last weeks, following the appointment of PM Rishi Sunak and his Cabinet in late October.
- Stuart Andrew is now the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Civil Society, and lead Youth Minister, reporting to Secretary of State Michelle Donelan at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. His position was held briefly by Lord Kamall ahead of ministerial changes made by the new PM, Rishi Sunak
- Mims Davies is the Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression with responsibility at the Department of Work and Pensions with responsibility for the Department’s Youth Offer, a reminder of which is here
- There is also a new team at the Department of Education led by new Secretary of State, Gillian Keegan, who was previously Mental Health Minister at the Department of Health and Social Care. Claire Coutinho is the lead minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, Nick Gill is the Minister for Schools, and Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education