Connor holding up a signOur charity’s Chief Executive Mark Lever has expressed his disappointment at today’s budget for failing to address the crisis in adult social care funding.

Mark is the co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance, alongside Caroline Abrahams of Age UK. The Care and Support Alliance is an Alliance of 80 organisations campaigning for more funding for care. 

Responding to the budget, Mark and Caroline said, "Today the Government failed to recognise the immediate crisis in social care, one that cannot wait for future reforms to be resolved. 

"A £2.5 billion funding gap is estimated by 2019/20. More than a million older and disabled people are without the care they need to do basics like get out of bed, eat, or go to the toilet – let alone leave the house or take part in a social life.

"Without proper funding more people will be denied the care they need, more carers will be pushed to breaking point, more providers will go out of business and the NHS will have to spend millions more picking up the pieces of inadequate social care. Also without extra funding the threat of complete market collapse remains. 

"The Government needs to plug the gap in social care funding while working on reforms that look at the whole social care system and address the needs of working age disabled adults, older people and their carers."

While we are disappointed in the Government’s decision not to invest in care, there were three main announcements in today’s budget that will be of interest; on universal credit, the NHS and housing. 

Universal Credit

Our charity, as part of the Disability Benefits Consortium, has raised a variety of issues in relation to Universal Credit. In particular, we have expressed concern about the six week wait time for the start of the benefit and the difficulties some autistic people may have with managing their finances. 

Today the Chancellor announced the following changes:

  • there will both be a reduction in the length of time claimants have to wait for the payments to start and they will also be able to more easily receive an interest free advance of their monthly entitlement. Together these changes will help bridge the budget gap claimants experience at the start of their claims
  • from February 2018 the Government will remove a ‘seven-day waiting period’ so that entitlement to Universal Credit starts on the first day of application instead of the seventh
  • the Government has also promised to make it easier for claimants to have the housing element of their award paid directly to their landlord
  • to support these changes the Government will roll out Universal Credit more gradually
  • £8 million was also allocated to trial ‘innovative approaches to help individuals on Universal Credit to earn more’. Given the autism employment gap, we’ll be asking the Department for Work and Pensions if this means some innovative approaches on supporting autistic people in employment could be trialled.


There were two announcements on the NHS today. The first was a confirmed £10 billion in capital spending across the next five years. This is money that was has been promised before and is to deliver NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View’ plan. As it is ‘capital’ spending the money is reserved for spending on projects such as equipment and buildings. 

There was also an additional £2.8billion announced for day-to-day NHS spending. This new money is spread out over three years. While it’s not as much as NHS England felt it needed, the new money will towards dealing with some of the additional cost pressures the NHS is facing. 


It is the new announcements on housing which are likely to dominate media coverage of the budget. In total, £44 billion worth of new announcements to help with building more housing in the UK were announced. The Government also confirmed that it was setting a new target of 300,000 new homes to be built every year. The Chancellor promised there would be further detail around the numbers of affordable and socially rented homes in an upcoming statement from the Department of Communities and Local Government. 

There were also changes to tax allowances and a rise in the minimum wage to £7.83. A summary of all changes can be found on the BBC’s website.

NB: The changes to Universal Credit are UK-wide. However the changes concerning the NHS and Housing are devolved issues and affect England only.