The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, presented his 2023 Spring Budget to Parliament on 15th March and published documents with further details.
In his speech, the Chancellor said the Budget will tackle the UK’s productivity issues including having lower business investment and higher economic inactivity than other similar countries. He described it as a “Budget for growth”.
The Chancellor focused on the four pillars of his industrial strategy:
- Enterprise – supporting business
- Employment – encouraging more people into work
- Education – providing people with skills
- Everywhere – growth across the UK.
The Chancellor announced policies on:
- Childcare – including an extension to younger children of the 30-hours a week of free childcare currently available to many working families with three and four year olds.
- Benefits – a range of measures to support and encourage people into work. These include:
- Work coach support will be extended to more people who are long-term scik and disabled. Work coaches gives advice, coaching and support to people, to help them secure a job.
- People claiming Universal Credit will be required to agree and meet intensive work related conditions as part of their claim, by increasing the amount they need to earn before they have “light touch” requirements
- Work search requirements for lead carers of children who are on Universal Credit will be expanded, expecting them to look for work or increase their working hours, with additional work coach support.
- The application of sanctions for claimants who do not meet conditions agreed to as part of their claim will be strengthened.
- A Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper was also published alongside the Budget. This provides further details of plans for disability employment support announced in the Budget.