Response to Autumn Statement

22 November 2023

Mubin Haq, Chief Executive of abrdn Financial Fairness Trust, said:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that the National Living Wage will substantially increase and social security benefits will rise in line with inflation.

“However, the loss of the £900 cost-of-living payments means many will be facing a real-terms cut. This is in addition to the long-term erosion of the safety net which means that those who rely on it are really struggling. For a single person receiving Universal Credit, currently 80% of their budget needs to be spent on buying an adequate amount of food leaving them with little left over for bills and other essentials.

“The number of people skipping meals or relying on foodbanks has increased dramatically, and looks set to continue to do so. Heading into what looks set to be another difficult winter for many, there is now the urgent need for a constructive conversation on the adequacy of our safety net and its ability to provide an acceptable standard of living.”