Sugar tax, disability cuts and academies top the Chancellor’s budget
Budget 2016 Announced
The highly anticipated budget for 2016 was announced this week with shake ups to all sectors receiving both praise and criticism from the nation’s residents.
Amongst the most controversial announcements is the £1.3bn a year disability cuts.
The government confirmed that up to 640,000 existing claimants are likely to be effected, cutting the spending on aids and appliances.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, slammed the decision which The Institute for Fiscal Studies says could lose an average claimant £3,500 a year.
“The announcement made by the chancellor is a reverse of the whole trend of the past three decades, to go back to saying disabled people can't lead independent lives, can't get the support they need.”
He added: “Any of us could become disabled at any time. We're just a car accident away from a major disability. We should think about that.”
However, despite calls to reverse the decision from members of their own party, the Conservative government have reinforced their commitment to such plans.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor George Osborne also announced a new sugar tax which will see a levy on soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and an even higher rate for those with more than 8g per 100ml.
The funding will be used to double the primary PE and sport premium (the additional money schools have to spend on PE and sports) to £320 million a year.
Another contentious announcement surrounded the Chancellor’s decision to make all schools into academies by 2022 despite opposition from teachers.
In a recent YouGov poll of 8,259 teachers and professors, nearly half - 48 per cent - thought academies made the standards worse, whilst just 17 per cent said they had a positive influence.
Mr Osborne, however, disagrees with the majority it seems.
He said: “It is simply unacceptable that Britain continues to sit too low down the global league tables for education. So I’m going to get on with finishing the job we started five years ago, to drive up standards and set schools free from the shackles of local bureaucracy.”
10 key points from the 2016 budget
- A surplus by 2019-20
- Double the dedicated funding for sport in primary schools, paid for by a levy on soft drinks
- A longer school day for 25% of secondary schools
- Every school will be an academy by 2022
- The Personal Allowance will increase to £11,500, and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in April 2017
- Lifetime ISA: a new £4,000 ISA that you can use to save for retirement or to buy your first home
- HS3 between Leeds and Manchester
- £80 million to give ‘Crossrail 2’ the go-ahead
- £100 million to help people move on from emergency hostels and refuges
New tax allowances for money earned from the sharing economy