08 / 7 / 2015 4.21pm
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has today (8 July) delivered the first Budget of the new Conservative government, with announcements impacting the NHS and its workforce.
The main Budget announcement for the NHS was a commitment to fully funding the Five Year Forward View through a further £8 billion by 2020, on top of the £2 billion already committed. This came alongside an announcement of continued public sector pay restraint of 1 per cent per year for the next four years.
Other key announcements in today’s statement:
- A new national living wage of £9 per hour by 2020, starting in April 2016 at £7.20.
- Income tax allowance threshold raised to £11,000 next year and to £43,000 for higher rate tax.
- 3 million more apprenticeships to be created, with an apprenticeship levy placed on large firms. We are investigating what this will mean for the NHS.
- Pensions annual allowance tapered to a minimum of £10,000.
- Green Paper published on proposals for changes to pension saving system.
- Further powers around public services devolved to Greater Manchester, including children’s services. Similar plans in discussion for Sheffield, Liverpool and West Yorkshire.
- Youth obligation for 18 to 21 year olds to earn or learn. Automatic entitlement to housing benefits abolished for this age group.
- Household benefits cap reduces to £23,000 for London and to £20,000 for the rest of the country.
- Free childcare up to 30 hours per week for three- and four-year-olds from September 2017.
- Tax credits and Universal Credits limited to two children for new claimants from April 2017.
- Working age benefits frozen for four years, maternity and other statutory pay is excluded from the freeze.
Responding to the Budget announcements our chief executive, Danny Mortimer, said:
“We welcome the Government’s commitment and confirmation of additional funding for the NHS.
"Patients and employers want to see improved and better seven-day services. We have stressed the importance of the workforce and pay and contract reform required to support this, as well as wider service improvement, especially for our medical staff.
"In continuing with the work to reform terms and conditions of service in and across the NHS, we now look forward to the publication of the pay review bodies' reports. Following publication we will be urgently seeking to speak with our trade unions, to ensure we continue to work in partnership to progress pay reforms and service improvement across the NHS. The reports should be published within the next ten days, though there remains a small possibility of delay until after the summer recess.
"Our discussions with trade union colleagues will now need to be set against the context of today’s announcement of continued public sector pay restraint. I recognise that these discussions are therefore now likely to be much more difficult, especially for our non-medical trade unions and their members."
More detail on the summer Budget 2015 is available on the Government website