- This policy briefing responds to the Autumn Statement 2016 in which the Chancellor stated that he aimed to:
- get the budget in surplus in the next parliament, and borrowing down to 2% by the end of the current parliament;
- get net debt falling by the end of this parliament, and
- keep welfare spending below a limit.
The authors express disappointment that the statement failed to mention or address the crisis in social care. They report that the continued underfunding of the social care system is having a deep impact on carers' own health and ability to carry on caring. They also note that increasing the National Living Wage without an equivalent rise in the Carer’s Allowance earnings limit leaves carers having to make difficult decisions about whether to continue in paid work. They also regret the Government's failure to increase Carer’s Allowance, the lowest benefit of its kind, and oppose proposals to devolve responsibility for Attendance Allowance from national to local Government. They welcome the cancellation of the planned fuel duty rise, but are deeply concerned that there were no new funding announcements for the NHS or for social care at a time when the social care system is under unprecedented pressure.