Last week the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced the Spring Budget.
Mr Hammond spoke very highly of Social care, stating that he “paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of carers” currently in the system. Although Nursing wasn’t specifically mentioned, an extra £2 billion of funding was declared for Social Care services in England over the next three years, with £1 billion made available in 2017-18.
He also declared another £100 million for triage systems in emergency departments, with the aim to release pressure and help manage the “inappropriate A+E attendances”.
In a bid that received a somewhat mixed reception, self-employed Nurses are now to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions from April 2018. As both sets of workers can claim similar benefits, Mr Hammond believes the age gap in NI can no longer be justified.
Despite this announcement meaning an additional £145 million, he did receive criticism for not discussing a raise in pay for Nurses. It has recently been discussed that a more attractive salary would help retain vital Nurses and attracts people to the profession. Jeremy Corbyn MP stated that “Mr Hammond had a duty to end the pay cap and award a pay rise to the 5 million public servants whom we rely on day in day out”.
There were also substantial changes for working families, as the free childcare entitlement is also set to double to 30 hours per week.
The Budget at a Glance
Tax and NI
- It will be reviewed in the Autumn Budget whether the self-employed earning more than £16,200 will pay increased NI contributions.
- The tax free allowance will rise to £12,500 by 2020.
- £325 million to be made available for the first Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) ahead of the Autumn Budget.
- Extra funding for STPs to be announced in the Autumn Budget.
- £100 million for triage systems in emergency departments.
- £2 billion grant for Social Care in England over the next three years, with £1 billion available in 2017-18.
- Green Paper to be produced on future funding.
- £2,000 a year for working families towards the cost of childcare (under 12) to be made available for all eligible families by December 2017.
- Free childcare entitlement to double to 30 hours per week.