Social services have for “too long been neglected” and spending
will rise by 6 per cent per year in real terms, the Chancellor
announced today, writes Clare Jerrom.
In the Budget, Gordon Brown also announced “a truly
family-friendly tax system” with £2.5 billion extra support
for six million low income families:
From next April families will benefit from a
new ‘child credit’, which will be
paid to the main parent carer in families with incomes below
£58,000, and 90 per cent of families will qualify. It will
mean between £800 and £1,400 per year to those
There will be extra help for parents who work irregular hours
and for parents of children with disabilities to improve child care
in the home.
He also announced a five-year budget for NHS
delivering “high and sustained growth”:
Increases in spending from £65.4 billion this year to
£100.6 billion in 2007, which is a 43 per cent rise over five
Additional 1 per cent national insurance contributions on
earnings above £4,615 to pay for NHS improvements
Older people will benefit from new minimum income guarantee
level of £98.15, and the winter fuel allowance will be
£200 per year.