METRO welcomes the support offered to people on low incomes, including the six-month extension to Universal Credit £20 per week top-up and the increase to the minimum wage. However we are concerned that the freeze on personal income tax allowance could push more families into poverty and would also urge the Universal Credit increase to be made permanent.
The extension of the furlough scheme is also a welcome relief to the voluntary and community sector and businesses alike.
We were disappointed that no mention was made regarding funding for social care and health. We would also like to have seen focused core funding for voluntary and community organisations have been so key in supporting the country through the pandemic.
METRO Charity CEO Dr Greg Ussher said:
“The adult social care system in England is already staggeringly under-funded, and the pandemic has only served to both highlight these shortfalls and worsen the crisis the social care sector faces.
“We have seen continuing and growing health inequalities in our society over the past 12 months, with disabled people, people of colour, people in poverty and the LGBTQ+ community severely and disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“We now look to the Government to ensure that essential services remain viable and able to support the people in our society most in need.”