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Economists warn that poor households are suffering from the UK’s benefits freeze. Skip to main content The Guardian – Back to home Support The Guardian Available for everyone, funded by readers Contribute Subscribe Contribute Search jobs Sign in My account Comments & replies Public profile Account details Emails & marketing Membership Contributions Subscriptions Sign out Search switch to the International edition switch to the UK edition switch to the US edition switch to the Australia edition current edition: International edition News Opinion Sport Culture Lifestyle Show More News World news UK news Science Cities Global development Football Tech Business Environment Obituaries Opinion The Guardian view Columnists Cartoons Opinion videos Letters Sport Football Rugby union Cricket Tennis Cycling F1 Golf US sports Culture Books Music TV & radio Art & design Film Games Classical Stage Lifestyle Fashion Food Recipes Love & sex Health & fitness Home & garden Women Men Family Travel Money What term do you want to search? Search with google Make a contribution Subscribe International edition switch to the UK edition switch to the US edition switch to the Australia edition Search jobs Dating Holidays Digital Archive Discount Codes The Guardian app Video Podcasts Pictures Newsletters Today’s paper Inside the Guardian The Observer Guardian Weekly Crosswords Facebook Twitter Search jobs Dating Holidays Digital Archive Discount Codes Business Economics Banking Money Markets Project Syndicate B2B More Business live Business Poor families face more austerity as benefits freeze continues – business live
Economists warn that poor households are suffering from the UK’s benefits freeze
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has been criticised for not lifting the freeze on benefits Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Graeme Wearden
Thu 14 Mar 2019 07.53 GMT First published on Thu 14 Mar 2019 07.46 GMT
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Key events Show 7.42am GMT 07:42 Introduction: No end to austerity for the poor Live feed Show 7.53am GMT 07:53
These charts show how chancellor Hammond has the ability to end more on public services and benefits….
ResolutionFoundation (@resfoundation) What did we learn from the #SpringStatement today? Cumulative borrowing has been revised down by £30bn between this year and 2023-24. The Chancellor is on course to meet his target of cyclically-adjusted borrowing being below 2% of GDP by 2021-22 – with £26.6bn to spare. pic.twitter.com/TTHDeqwXOV
March 13, 2019 … but still allowed benefits to be frozen for another year, from April.
ResolutionFoundation (@resfoundation) The Chancellor didn’t announce any big new tax and benefit changes for the coming financial year in his #SpringStatement . But changes are coming anyway, which will take £100 from the poorest fifth of households and give £280 to those in the top 10 per cent https://t.co/9MQXf7JPPn pic.twitter.com/zWKmoJWWt2
March 13, 2019 Updated at 7.53am GMT
Facebook Twitter 7.42am GMT 07:42
Introduction: No end to austerity for the poor
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivers his Spring Statement in the House of Commons yesterday Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the global economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Austerity continues for Britain’s poorest households, as the government refuses to use the improvements in the public finances to help those in greatest need.
That’s according to the Resolution Foundation, which has crunched through yesterday’s UK Spring Statement to uncover the true picture of Britain’s finances.
It says that the decision to continue freezing working-age benefits for another year — effectively a cut in real terms — will cause real hardship.
Resolution has calculated that:
The four year freeze on working age benefits is expected to save the government £4.7 billion by the end of 2019-20, including £1.8 billion from the final year of the freeze to be implemented in just three weeks’ time. On average, this policy will leave couples with children in the bottom fifth of the income distribution nearly £900 poorer in 2019-20 than they otherwise would have been, with the poorest single parents losing almost £700. Chancellor Philip Hammond offered the prospect of ending austerity yesterday. He’s now got a £26bn war chest of ‘fiscal headroom’ set aside for no-deal Brexit costs . He could have used some of it to end the benefits freeze. He didn’t, despite also announcing better borrowing forecasts thanks to stronger tax receipts.
HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) Borrowing this year will be 1.1% of GDP – £3 billion lower than forecast at the Autumn Budget – @PhilipHammondUK #SpringStatement pic.twitter.com/mnBPnr3Oo3
March 13, 2019 Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, says “tough times” remain in the UK:
“While all eyes are rightly on Brexit, yesterday’s Spring Statement gave us an insight into where politics is heading in the years ahead. Despite grim economic forecasts, improved public finances mean the debate will shift from cuts vs investment to how much more we should spend.
“The Chancellor set out the intention yesterday to bring the era of public service austerity to a close and has the fiscal headroom to make that a reality – but held off doing so until the UK’s exit route from the EU becomes clear.
“But tough times and hard choices are here to stay as austerity continues for low and middle income families affected by the £1.8 billion benefit freeze in just three weeks’ time. Even once departmental budgets begin to grow again, pressures will remain given the scale of spending reductions in recent years.”
Also coming up today Investors will be glued to events in parliament, as MPs debate whether to ask for an extension to Brexit. They’ll vote at 5pm UK tim e.
Westminster is still reeling from last night’s chaotic scenes, which saw parliament vote to rule out a no-deal departure.
The wheels came flying off the concept of cabinet collective responsibility, as Theresa May found herself facing yet another humiliating defeat.
How May’s Brexit deal laid bare Tories’ deep divisions over Europe Read more
But yet….Theresa May could now bring her Withdrawal Agreement back to the House a third time (or even fourth?!), after threatening MPs with a long extension to Article 50 otherwise.
Helena Lee (@BBCHelenaLee) The Guardian: May’s final warning to Tory rebels: back me or lose Brexit #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/e1pQkfuxGt
March 13, 2019 Optimism that the UK will reach a deal, eventually, drove sterling to its highest level in almost two years against the euro, hitting €1.18.
Pound surges against dollar and euro as MPs reject no-deal Brexit Read more
There’s not much in the economic calendar today, apart from new US unemployment and house sales figures.
The agenda 12.30pm: US weekly jobless figures 2pm: US home sales data Updated at 7.48am GMT
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