Getting helped out… or missing out? From education to the cladding scandal and family finances – the winners (and losers) in Rishi Sunak’s budget
The biggest housebuilders will be hit with a £200million-a-year levy to help fix the cladding scandal.
The Government will charge property developers with profits over £25million at a rate of 4 per cent.
It will help to create a fund that can be used to remove cladding put up on high-rise buildings across the UK, but which was found to be unsafe after the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.
Mr Sunak said: ‘We’re confirming £5billion to remove unsafe cladding from the highest-risk buildings, partly funded by the Residential Property Developer Tax.’
Many homeowners have been left facing potentially ruinous bills after they discovered that cladding on their homes could be dangerous.
The McGovern family live on the third floor of a block of flats that has been deemed ‘lower risk’ because it is below 18 metres in height
A general view showing the Grenfell Tower, in London. The Government will charge property developers with profits over £25million at a rate of 4 per cent to help fix the cladding scandal
The Government last night said it wanted to ‘turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy’ by spending £24billion on housing over several years.
This includes up to 180,000 affordable homes.
Ministers said this was the largest cash investment in a decade, with 65 per cent of the money being spent outside London.
However, some residents said it still fails to help many people caught up in the scandal.
Teacher Emma McGovern says she has ‘got past the point of frustration’ after finding out that she will not qualify for the funding.
Mrs McGovern, 34, her husband Neil and children Tabitha, eight, Phoebe, seven, Jonah, five, and two-year-old Titus live on the third floor of a block deemed ‘lower risk’ because it is below 18 metres.
But it would still require repairs totalling £85,000 each for all residents at the four-storey building Oyster Court in Elephant and Castle, south London.
Mrs McGovern said: ‘Our block is so small, I can’t believe it. Not leaving anything in the Budget for it shows they don’t understand it.’
An extra £1.8billion has been pledged to schools to help children recover from lost classroom time during the Covid pandemic. However, unions have said it is not enough and could ‘damage’ young lives
Unions have hit out at an extra £1.8billion in funding pledged to help children recover learning lost during the pandemic – branding it ‘inadequate’.
The extra cash is on top of £3.1billion already promised. But the National Education Union (NEU) said it is not enough and could ‘damage’ life chances.
Sir Kevan Collins, the former schools catch-up tsar, originally said a recovery package of £15billion was needed over three years.
He quit when it became clear this would not materialise.
The extra cash is to help pupils who missed parts of their courses when schools closed, either because online lessons were poor or because they had no internet access.
Kevin Courtney, of the NEU, accused the Government of doing education recovery ‘on the cheap’ and added: ‘This is simply not good enough.’
Geoff Barton, of the Association of School and College Leaders, added that it was ‘disappointing’ and ‘nowhere near what is needed’.
Schools will also get an extra £4.7billion in general funding by 2024/25 – returning it to 2010 levels in real terms.
Mr Sunak insisted it was equivalent to a cash increase for every pupil of more than £1,500.
Family was put at the forefront of the Budget, with Start for Life services receiving £500million in the next three years.
Ministers will invest in family hubs, Start for Life and family help services, perinatal mental health support, breastfeeding services and parenting programmes.
The money will also help to expand the Supporting Families programme, which helps 300,000 families.
Mr Sunak said he would address issues with childcare provision.
The Chancellor also said that there would be funding for a newborn genome screening programme to detect 200 rare diseases – potentially saving 3,000 babies every year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a visit to Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey, London, on Wednesday
Genomics England will receive funding to support a national pilot which is using sequencing to detect rare diseases in 100,000 babies.
The Daily Mail has reported that thousands of babies are at risk of disability or death because they are not screened for these diseases.
At present, every baby in the UK is offered a heel prick test for conditions such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis. However, they are tested for only nine diseases – significantly fewer than in other developed countries.
Social care providers said they were being ‘left out in the cold’ after Mr Sunak failed to announce any more ring-fenced funding.
The Chancellor said councils would receive £4.8billion extra to fund a range of services – but did not say any should be earmarked for social care.
The sector will have to rely on the £5.4billion raised by next year’s hike in National Insurance contributions – as well as the £162.5million fund to help the sector recruit and retain staff.
Charities and care groups said this was ‘nowhere near enough’ and it would have ‘serious and far-reaching consequences’.
Mr Sunak, flanked by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, details his budget to the House of Commons
The Ministry of Defence also lost out, with expenditure to be reduced by 0.4 per cent in real terms.
The Chancellor’s move takes defence spending below what the MoD announced it would spend just four months ago.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, said: ‘This is not in the spirit of Britain being a problem-solving, burden-sharing nation when our world is progressively becoming more unstable.’
Meanwhile, the rail industry yesterday criticised the failure to mention HS2 in the Budget.
It comes amid growing doubts that the high-speed rail project will be completed in full, with the Treasury wanting its eastern leg linking Birmingham and Leeds scaled back.
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