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Budget 2021: Sunak softens universal credit cuts to tackle household squeezing | Autumn 2021 budget

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Rishi Sunak has succumbed to intense pressure by partially canceling universal credit cuts, while announcing budget measures to deal with a squeeze on households this winter, with lower alcohol and fuel tariffs.

In a budget statement aimed at getting rid of the coronavirus pandemic, the chancellor said he would introduce more than $ 2 billion in universal credit reforms to soften the blow from the biggest overnight cut in benefits.

Earlier this month, the government scrapped the 20-week universal loan increase, which was part of the government’s emergency support package for Covid. The completion of the temporary increase, which amounts to 6 billion per year, reduced the incomes of 6 million claimants by 1040 per year, adding more pressure on households facing an increase in the cost of living.

Announcing the change to reduce the impact, Sunak said the universal credit reduction rate will be adjusted so that the amount of benefit an employee loses for every pound he gains on employee compensation will be reduced to 55 pp by 63 p. To help families in need who need help now, the change will take effect no later than December 1st, Sunak said. However, people with universal loans who do not work will not benefit from the policy.

The move comes as the chancellor benefits from an improved growth outlook following a faster economic recovery from the pandemic earlier this year, despite growing pressure on businesses and households from rising inflationary pressures. The UK economy is now projected to grow by 6.5% this year compared to 4% at the time of the March budget.

Sunak began his budget with such a clear Johnsonian note that it could have been written by the prime minister.

He called it, clearly, the economy of prime ministers of higher wages, higher skills and increasing productivity. With strong public services, vibrant communities and safer roads. An economy suitable for a new era of optimism. It was a diplomatic opening, at a time when relations between No. 10 and No. 11 have been difficult.

He heralded the start of a new economy after Covid, although the very present nature of the pandemic was embodied in Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, who had sat down for Keir Starmer, who had tested positive for the virus.

But the conclusion, with the announcement of the low rate cut, was pure Sunak and a signal to the Conservative bank, which had been silent during some of the higher spending commitments.

In a hint of further tax cuts to come before the next election, Sunak said he was deeply concerned about the size of the state and the tax burden. Do we want to live in a country where the answer to every question is: What will the government do about it? Where every time prices rise, every time a company gets in trouble, every time a new challenge arises, the answer is always: should the taxpayer pay?

Or we choose to accept that government has limits. That government must have boundaries.

Giving his statement in a packed room of Municipalities, he said he would launch the most radical changes to the 140-year-old alcohol obligation with a new tax system, a sudden move created to tackle rising costs. living for families.

The measures, which will reduce the UK’s top alcohol tax rates from 15 to six, will lower taxes on low-strength wines such as ros and prosecco, beers and cider, and increase the cost of beverages by high strength.

In a move that took advantage of drinks and bars, with Sunak saying he wanted to support responsible drinks, the chancellor cut tariffs on beer and cider by 5%, removing 3 p. the next five years.

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Against a backdrop of record high gasoline prices hitting households amid severely disrupting the global economy after the stalemate, fuel duty will also rise for the 12th year in a row, saving the average driver 1,900.

Measures aimed at tackling the cost of living come as rising inflation bites the spending power of households, though they will also be considered as the government prepares to host the Glasgow Cop26 climate summit within days and as coronavirus cases remain high.

Budgets have been set, plans are in place, the task is clear, we must now accomplish. This is not the money of the government, the money of its taxpayers, Sunak said.

Labor stocks were often louder than the Conservatives, although support groups cheered loudly for the changes in the alcohol obligation and lower rate.

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