As part of today’s Budget, the UK Government has made the following announcements
Welfare System and Skills Funding
- UK Shared Prosperity Fund: At a minimum, it will match current levels of funding for each nation from EU structural funds. The government will set out further plans for the Fund, including at the CSR.
- Government will commit £46 million from the Shared Outcomes Fund to provide improved support to individuals overcoming multiple complex needs, such as homelessness, reoffending and substance misuse.
- A new £2.5 billion National Skills Fund to improve the technical skills of adults.
- Reduce the frequency of health assessments required for people receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP). For those whose condition is unlikely to change, the Budget sets a minimum award review length of 18 months.
- Reduce the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a UC award from 30% to 25% of the standard allowance and giving claimants up to 24 months to repay advances.
- Remove the three-year sanction from Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. This will bring high level sanctions to 13 weeks for the first failure to comply with conditionality or work search requirements and 26 weeks for each subsequent failure.
- Rollout of Universal Credit now expected to complete by September 2024.