A budget for the haves, not the have-nots

6th March 2024


Commenting on the Chancellor’s Budget statement today, Ed Davies, Policy Director at the Centre for Social Justice said:

“This is a budget for the haves, not the have nots.  It has given those who our society and economy need most to make more of their lives the least opportunity to do so.

“The Budget’s headline National Insurance reduction will give the richest in our society an average of nearly £900 benefit with those with the least getting next to nothing.  The Chancellor missed an excellent opportunity to tweak the so-called work allowances in the Universal Credit system to encourage more people to get a first foot on the jobs ladder, reducing economic inactivity.   Almost every penny of Work Allowances would be spent straight back into the economy, unlike the National Insurance reduction.

“Meanwhile, changes to the child benefit limit, non-dom tax status and VAT threshold changes for the self-employed show enormous faith in trickledown economics, but little desire to win the vote of poorer citizens.

“The extension of the Household Support Fund, and timeframe for those on the lowest incomes to repay emergency loans from one year to two years, are welcome.  As is investment in Violence Reduction Units – those living in the most deprived communities are far more likely to be affected by crime than those in wealthier areas.”


See below chart showing impact of National Insurance 2 per cent cut on population by income.

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