Budget 2018: How does it affect you?
1. Universal Credit: Transitional protection increase
The government has committed to an additional £1 billion over five years for “transitional protection”. This is an extra amount which tops up an individual’s Universal Credit payment so that they are not worse off when they move onto Universal Credit. If you have recently registered for Universal Credit or plan to do so before July 2019, you will unfortunately not be eligible for this additional payment.
2. Universal Credit: Work pays
You can still claim Universal credit if you are in work but you’ll be subject to a “work allowance”. A work allowance is the amount you can earn before your Universal Credit payment is affected. The government announced during the budget that they are raising this allowance by £1000 per year per person from next April to £3376 if you’re on housing support, £5908 if you’re not.
3. Health: £2 billion more for mental health
The government announced that it will increase mental health spending as a share of the overall NHS budget over the next 5 years. Mental health spending will be £2 billion by 2023-24. Comprehensive mental health support in every major A&E by 203-24; more mental health ambulances; a new mental health crisis hot line and more community services such as crisis cafes. We don’t have the detail yet but we’ll update this page when we do.
4. Social care: local council funding for immediate pressures
If you use social care from your local council such as accommodation, help with day to day things or transport then they will now receive a little bit more in the short term to alleviate immediate pressures. An additional £650 million will be distributed across every local council in England next year. If you're paying for social care then you maybe entitled to a reduction in cost, read our article How do I pay for social care? to find out more.
5. National Living Wage will increase to £8.21
From April 2019 the National Living Wage will increase from £7.83 an hour to £8.21. This will benefit around 2.4 million workers and is a £690 annual pay rise for a full-time worker.
6. Tax-free Personal Allowance will rise to £12,500
The Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you have to start paying income tax – will increase by a further £650 in April 2019 to £12,500. We know those living with long-term mental health problems are often earning less than this amount so if you do earn under £12,500 you unfortunately won’t benefit from this change.
7. Breathing space for people in debt
The government has announced a formal consultation on a breathing space scheme for people in problem debt. The scheme will introduce a 60-day period where any outstanding interest to pay on debts will be frozen to give you time to plan how repayments could be made with your creditors. If you are in debt, find out what you can do about it.
8. A no-interest loans scheme pilot announced
For many people, borrowing even with a low-cost borrower is not something they can afford, instead turning to high-cost lenders. The government has acknowledged a need to bridge this gap so they have announced that they will launch a feasibility study to help design a pilot for a no-interest loans scheme early next year.
9. Jobs for people living with severe mental illness
The government plans to expand access to the Individual Placement Support programme to help those with severe mental illness find and retrain employment, benefiting 55,000 people by 2023-24.
We'll update this page when the government announces more detail so bookmark this page for up to date information.
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