Photo: Big Ben and Houses of Parliament shot from below Westminster bridge on a grey day

What the Spending Round means for our MS community

This afternoon, Chancellor Sajid Javid set out next year's budgets for each government department in his Spending Round.

He committed to a £13.8 billion increase in spending across all government departments. But we’re still waiting on a long term strategy for social care, and important changes to benefits like Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

What did the UK Government say on social care?

Another £1.5 billion was announced for social care, which will help keep vital services running next year. The money will be shared between children’s and adult’s care. And a third of it depends on local council tax increases.

However, this is nowhere near enough for the improvements we need to see, so everyone with MS gets the care they need.

We need the UK Government to bring forward its promised plan to fix social care as soon as possible.

Increased funding for health upgrades

The Chancellor announced £6.2 billion extra for the NHS including:

  • another £150 million to train and develop doctors and nurses
  • £854 million - to add to the £1bn already set aside - to upgrade facilities and equipment in 20 hospitals
  • £250 million investment in artificial intelligent technologies, to support earlier cancer detection and discover new treatments.

What about welfare?

We know PIP isn’t working for people with MS. The PIP 20 metre rule is failing our community and costs the UK government more than it saves.

Earlier this year thousands of people emailed the Government telling them to scrap this expensive policy. However, no plans to reverse welfare cuts were announced today.

Our Director of External Affairs Genevieve Edwards says:

“The new money for social care is a stopgap measure that will just paper over the cracks. Until we see a long-term funding solution, people with MS will continue struggling without basic care to eat, wash or dress.

"While there are no more planned welfare cuts next year, the support people have already lost from PIP continues to have a devastating impact, costing the Government more than they save. It makes no financial sense to keep denying this support.

Social care and disability benefits are vital lifelines that must be a priority for the Government

“MS is relentless, painful and exhausting, and thousands have been driven to misery during this decade of cuts. Both social care and disability benefits are vital lifelines that must be a priority for the Government"

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