Autumn statement 2022: Key UK housing, health and local government updates

Jeremy Hunt has just delivered the Autumn statement, just a few weeks after becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer and following reports from the Office for Budget Responsibility that the UK is now in a recession. This statement was delayed following the changes in government and Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini-budget” in September.  

Here we set out a summary of the key points, which may affect the organisations we work with.  

Housing

 

  • Perhaps most notably, the Autumn Statement contained the results of the government’s consultation on the rent cap which closed on 12 October. Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that rents for social and affordable housing in England will be capped at a maximum of 7% as of April 2023. This is similar to the position in Wales where the cap will be at 6.5%. There will, however, be an exemption from the rent cap for supported housing providers in England.  
  • In terms of cost-of-living support, the chancellor has confirmed that the government’s energy price guarantee will be kept for a further 12 months after April 2023. However, this will be less generous with bills capped at £3,000 a year, instead of the current £2,500. There will also be: 
  • A new one-off payment of £900 to households on means-tested benefits, £300 to pensioner households and £150 to individuals on disability benefit.  
  • He also confirmed an additional funding of £1bn for the extension of the Household Support Fund. 
  • The “national living wage” is set to rise next year to £10.42, a 9.7% increase from the current £9.50. Pensions, disability and means-tested benefits are also set to rise in line with September’s inflation rate by 10.1%. 
  • Hunt also confirmed that the benefit cap will be increased with inflation next year and that they will be keeping the pensions triple lock.  
  • The stamp duty reductions announced by the previous Chancellor will end in 2025. 
  • At time of writing, there are more details to come about the position as regards rental levels for new lets during 23/24, and also about whether there may be scope for rents subsequently to catch up with where they would have been without a cap.  
  • The NHF has announced that shared ownership rents will be voluntarily capped by NHF members at the same 7% for 2023/24, the same as for rents in social housing.  

Health and social care

 

  • Hunt has announced that there will be £1bn more allocated next year and £1.7bn allocated the following year for social care. This will be funded by savings from delayed reforms (Dilnot Reforms) which were aiming to cap people’s lifetime care payments to £86k (see below), the aim being to free up hospital beds by enabling social care to provide many more packages of care.  
  • The chancellor has also stated an increase to NHS funding in England of £3.3bn for each of the next two years.  
  • The lifetime cap on social care costs in England due in October 2023 will be delayed by two years.  

Local government and businesses  

 

  • The statement has allowed for Councils in England to increase council tax by up to 5% a year without a local vote. This is a 2% increase on the current 3%.  
  • Hunt also confirmed at least £1.7bn for Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund. 
  • Unemployment is expected to rise in 2024 from 3.6% to 4.9%. 
  • Public spending will be maintained until 2025 but is then expected to grow slower than previously expected. 
  • There will be support worth £13.6bn over the next five years aiming to help firms with business rates and includes a mixture of freezes and reliefs. 
  • Government is giving itself five years to hit debt and spending targets. This is currently set at three years.  

To discuss any issues raised in this article, contact Francesca Stanyer on: francesca.stanyer@campbelltickell.com

Campbell Tickell is an established multi-disciplinary management and recruitment consultancy, operating across the UK and Ireland, focusing on the housing, social care, local government, sport, leisure, charity and voluntary sectors.

We are a values-based business and firmly place the positioning of our support and challenge on helping organisations to attain change that is well thought through, planned and sustainable. At CT, we want to help organisations create the landscape within which we ourselves would like to exist: fair, inclusive, diverse, engaged and transparent. We build from our values in how we approach all our work as a practice.

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