Budget 2024

Budget 2024 

With this being the last budget before an election, we may have been expecting a few more crowd-pleasing policies and vote winning announcements. In terms of people impacted by GBS, CIDP, and other autoimmune conditions, and for GAIN itself, to be honest, there wasn’t much there. 

For individuals who are earning, there may be some comfort in a reduction in the National Insurance rate by 2p, but they will be quite cold comfort amongst the rest of the cost of living crisis. 

I was pleased to see that the Household Support Fund (which provides vital support to families that need additional support, including some of those we work with) has been extended until September 2024. We had all hoped that this would be longer, but with the uncertainty around who will be in charge at a government level after the election means this was always unlikely. 

Looking at the public services that our members rely on so heavily, additional funding in this funding round is fairly minimal, with just 1% above inflation resulting in very little change on the ground. However, an additional £2.5 Billion into the NHS and £500M into Adult Social Care and Children’s Services is welcomed. They so sound like big numbers, but in terms of total budget and spend then these won’t change services at all. 

An interesting feature of the budget was around public sector productivity, with an emphasis on making things more efficient. The government today announced £3.4 Billion (almost £1 Billion more than announced for additional day to day services) to reform the way the NHS works. Included within this is £1 Billion to be spent on improving data and digital records. Here at GAIN, we really welcome this move. Improved data, record keeping, and information will really help our members. Whilst of course we eagerly await further detail on this, we hope that this funding will be spent wisely. We also hope that better data capture and analysis will also lead to greatly improved (anonymous) data sharing, so that we can best understand need and impact of conditions. Funding within this pot will also be used to develop an online digital health check through the NHS App. This will be hugely beneficial to our members and their families, although access to data and appropriate technology will always be an issue for some people and some communities. 

Finally, the one acknowledgement of charities (beyond a potential small change to Gift Aid legislation) was around £45 Million of investment into medical research. We cautiously await the details of this announcement, but it appears that funding will be available for early career researchers and for ‘medical charities’ life-saving agendas.’ Now for me, this shouts GAIN, and I’ll be discussing this with our Medical Advisory Board. £45M is unlikely to go very far, and competition will be high, but this does show commitment to funding life sciences, particularly within the community sector. 

Overall, then, not the most exciting budget, but one which has brought out some smaller financial and policy decisions which may positively impact GAIN and our members. 

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