Autumn Budget and Spending Review


25 / 11 / 2015 1.49pm

Chancellor George Osborne has today (25 November) delivered the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and Autumn Budget to the House of Commons.

The main announcement for the NHS was confirmation of the commitment to increase NHS funding from £101bn currently to £120bn by 2020/21, with the first £6bn delivered upfront next year. 

Other points of interest to employers in the NHS include:

  • tax-free childcare costs for parents working more than 16h and earning less than £100,000
  • bursaries for student nurses to be removed and replaced with student loans
  • creation of up to 10,000 new nursing training places
  • more than £5bn for health research including genomics and dementia
  • £600m of additional funding for mental health services, including access to talking therapies and crisis care
  • a new council tax levy of up to 2 per cent for local authorities to spend specifically on adult social care, with the aim of bringing £2bn more into the social care system
  • Better Care fund increased to £1.5bn by 2019/20
  • state pension will increase next year to £119.30 per week
  • a new single tier pension payment of £155.65 for new pensioners from next year
  • an apprenticeship levy to raise £3bn a year, set at 0.5 per cent of the payroll bill but with a £15,000 allowance for employers to offset the levy.

Commenting on the cut to nursing bursaries, Danny Mortimer said:

“Employers will be concerned to ensure that any action taken doesn’t deter applications for training places or create an additional pressure on the pay bill to meet expectations that loans will be paid off as part of a recruitment package, and we will have to watch this closely. Employers will also hope that the introduction of any change will be done in a measured way and appropriately phased.  However there is a general recognition that we do need a training system that is more flexible and one that can quickly respond to changes in demand.

“We are delighted to see a commitment to an additional 10,000 training places for nurses.”

Commenting on the apprenticeship levy, Danny said: 

“We are concerned by the additional charges for employers through the apprenticeship levy. The NHS will need to ensure that employers are able to get best value from the new levy and that the associated bureaucracy is kept to an absolute minimum.  The NHS already employs and values significant numbers of apprentices and we look forward to sharing our positive experience of this initiative with other sectors.”

The budget statement in full is available on the website.

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