People on lowest incomes left exposed by Budget measures

The Chancellor’s decision to only partially extend the time limit on additional Universal Credit payments, freeze the basic rate personal income tax threshold and increase access to the property ladder without tackling the shortage of rented accommodation has placed people on the lowest incomes at greatest risk, the Chief Executive of Bradford-based Manningham Housing association has said.

Responding to Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech earlier today, Lee Bloomfield said:

“Whilst I welcome news that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit payments has been extended until September, the Chancellor has merely created yet another cliff edge for those families that depend on this extra income.

Lee Bloomfield, MHA Chief Executive

“Mr Sunak claimed that income tax would not go up but, for those in the lowest-paid jobs, the decision to freeze the personal allowance for basic rate taxpayers will have the same effect with workers losing increasing amounts of their take-home pay as time goes on.

“I fully understand the desire to help people on the property ladder.  However, history tells us that this will gravely impair access to decent quality homes for those unable to afford a mortgage.  Decreasing the size of the rented sector in the midst of an ever-deepening housing crisis is short-sighted at best and grossly irresponsible at worst.

“With pay for key workers also frozen and unemployment levels expected to rise in the months ahead, these decisions have placed people on the lowest incomes at greatest risk.”