The Salvation Army welcomes moves in today’s Budget to boost social housing by 3000 homes over the next two years. The people we are working with every day are struggling with rising rentals and desperately need more housing that is affordable and safe.
It is also pleasing to see the extension of the early childhood education subsidy, the removal of prescription fees, and the extension of public transport benefits to children and young people, all of which will benefit people on lower incomes.
‘Continued funding to support financial mentoring, food-insecure families and the food in schools programmes is welcomed, but we question how this Budget responds to the increasing level of need related to the cost of living,’ says Lt-Colonel Ian Hutson, Director of The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.
‘The Budget includes no announcements of increased income support for those on lower incomes and shows that in 2024, at least one of the primary measures of child poverty is expected to worsen.
‘With unemployment projected to increase along with higher levels of hardship, we would have expected to see a lift in financial support for lower income households, for example through Working For Families and the Accommodation Supplement. Unfortunately, this Budget is no game changer for people who are facing hardship in the communities where we work.
‘We’re pleased to see additional funding for services that respond to family and sexual violence, including the Women’s Refuge, but would have liked to see additional support to help people struggling with addictions such as alcohol, drugs and gambling.’
The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: email@example.com (The Media Officer responds to enquiries from media outlets and journalists. If you would like to donate, are in need of help, or have some other non-media-related enquiry, please call 0800 53 00 00.)