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UK News

Politicians and policy advisors warn Autumn Statement doesn't stretch to those that need it most

by Alex Collett

There are concerns the Autumn Statement doesn't stretch far enough to help those in need. 

Today, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced millions more people will pay more in energy bills and tax.

Under the new plans, anyone earning more than £125,000 will pay extra income tax too. 

Major public sectors have received a much needed boost; NHS England which will receive an additional £3.3b.

Schools will also receive an extra £2.3b a year, and £2.8b will be given to the social care sector.

Paul Morrison, policy advisor to the Methodist Church believes. whilst these sectors need their cash injections, there are other sectors who still urgently need support:

"Churches are setting up warm banks; they've got food banks, which are seeing huge increases

"The question is whether or not this budget is going to change the need they are seeing in their communities.

"So far, the answer is no, so there is no further money into the Department of Work and Pensions, which pays for benefits. 

"So supporting them with money with prayer with donations with volunteering is really important. 

"The solution is not more warm banks; the solution to hunger is not more food banks. 

"We the Trussell Trust, which I'm associated with, in 2010, we served about 60,000, people were serving about two and a half million this year."

Christian MP Tim Farron says people are still worried after the autumn statement announcement: "People will be very afraid, because people can't make ends meet.

"The Institute for Fiscal Studies - which is the independent arbiter of such things - their assumption on the basis of this budget is that every family starting up in the next year or so will be seven per cent worse off than they were on average. 

"That means that everybody will be in a position that their income is worth what it was in 2013, almost a decade ago. 

"That's a terrible thing across the whole country, not just some people, but across the board. 

"We know that inflation is highest for those who are poorest, so although it was right, the state pension benefits were increased in line with inflation, actually, if you're on the lowest incomes, inflation is not 10 per cent.

"It's 16 per cent because of the fact that people who are poorer spend all their money on the things that have become most expensive, food in particular."

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