Salisbury’s mayor Caroline Corbin and MP John Glen have very different views on the autumn budget announcement.

Yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the 2021 budget.

Here are the ten key takeaways including more funding for the NHS, a raise in minimum wage but also national insurance, and tax cuts to support businesses.

Conservative MP John Glen says the changes will create a "strong economy", while Labour Cllr Caroline Corbin feels the announcement "falls short of what's needed". 

To clarify what was actually said in the Chancellor's speech and what impact it is likely to have, we have fact-checked claims made by both the MP and mayor.

NHS and Mental Health

MP John Glen: "The budget includes a massive additional £44 billion for the NHS."

Fact checked: The Chancellor announced the largest health budget since 2010 and said the total spending on healthcare was set to increase by £44bn to £177bn by the end of the current parliament.

Cllr Corbin: "There was no mention on increasing funds for Mental Health services."

Fact-checked: Though support for mental health services was mentioned, it was also quite vague according to Imperial College London's Professor of Organisation Behaviour and Leadership Sankalp Chaturvedi.

Dr Chaturvedi said: "While investment in the NHS is always welcome, the Budget continuously undermines the need for specific measures to manage mental health at work and home for the new age. The Budget announcement doesn’t seem to be ready for the future.” 

Cllr Corbin: "[Rishi Sunak] didn't help the carers whether unpaid or not and the disability benefits don’t always meet the needs of claimant." 

Fact-checked: The Chancellor did not mention fresh support for care homes or their staff in his budget speech which is a particular issue as this will continue to stretch council resources.

The Budget, parliament's Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee have launched an enquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on adult social care the day after the budget. 

Cllr Corbin: "The Courts where Covid has seen many cases cancelled leaves the victims in turmoil and adds to the growing mental health crisis."

Fact-checked: An extra £2.2 billion has been announced for courts, prisons and probation services, including £500 million to reduce the courts backlogs.

In summary, the budget did not address mental health sufficiently and did not address support for carers, but funding for courts may help with the backlogs.

Living wage

MP John Glen: "There is help with the cost of living for those who need it most."

Fact-checked: This is a key issue as the living wage is set to increase by 4% according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. 

The National Living Wage will go up by 6.6% and Rishi Sunak has announced that fuel duty will not increase, instead freezing the cost at 57.95p per litre.

Cllr Corbin: "The minimum wage [increase] will still leave some families and small businesses struggling and families reliant on top ups from the benefits system."

Fact-checked: The budget announced support for those on Universal Credit, with Mr Sunak dramatically reducing the UC “taper”, meaning that, instead of losing 63p of UC for every £1 earned above the work allowance, the amount will be reduced to 55p.

The amount people can earn before starting to lose the benefit will also increase by £500.

From next April, national insurance will increase by 1.25% for employed and self-employed people earning more than £9,568. 

In summary, unemployed low-income families on universal credit will not benefit from the change as much as employed low-income families on universal credit. 


MP John Glen: "There is also billions of pounds of extra catch-up money for schools, and investment in both early years and vocational skills."

Fact-checked: An extra £4.7 billion will be made available for education which Sunak said: “combined with the ambitious plans announced at the spending review of 2019 will restore per pupil funding to 2010 levels in real terms”.

A UK-wide £560 million numeracy programme, Multiply, will be set-up to help improve basic maths skills among millions of adults, Rishi Sunak confirmed.

The Chancellor also said core science funding will rise to £5.9 billion a year by 2024-25, a cash increase of 37%.

Cllr Corbin: "Schools funding is returning to 2010 levels when it should be exceeding it."

Fact-checked:The Education Policy Institute think tank has previously called for a three-year funding package of £13.5 billion in England to reverse the damage done by Covid-19 to pupils’ education.

General secretary of school leaders’ union (NAHT) Paul Whiteman said although the additional funding is welcome, it "falls far short of the £13-15 billion independent experts have said is needed."

He added: “Children and young people have been hugely affected by the pandemic. The Government has made bold claims about ‘levelling up’ and ‘no child left behind’."

In summary, funding has been allocated with an emphasis on hard skills such as math and science but according to the experts more funding is needed for children to catch-up.


MP John Glen: "A lot of our small businesses and local employers stand to benefit from the 50 per cent cut in business rates for retail, leisure and hospitality."

Fact checked: Around £7 billion in business rate cuts have been announced, with the cancellation of next year’s planned increases and a 50% discount on business rates for a year for a series of retail and hospitality venues.

Cllr Corbin: "If we see unsustainable new businesses and other ventures appear only to meet a demise in a year or two where is the sense in that?"

Fact checked: It may be too soon to see how the business tax cuts will play out in action.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls says: "The devil will be in the detail".

In summary, we will have to wait and see.

Homelessness and Inequality

Cllr Corbin: "Addressing the homeless crisis is all well and good but it has to be with the right support networks to stop people falling between the gaps again."

Fact-checked: The Chancellor committed £639m by 2024-25 to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness.  

Crisis Chief executive Jon Sparkes welcomes this but said: "It is vital this money is used to most effectively prevent and end homelessness for good."

Cllr Corbin: "We need to stop relying on charities and volunteers to be a sticking plaster for problems which should be properly funded in the first place."

Fact-checked: Imperial College London's Professor of Primary Care, School of Public Health Sonia Saxena has commented that “health, social, and economic environments are intertwined from birth".

She notes the importance of early interventions, reducing inequality across the board, so the funding for practical measures to support parents is welcome however if fundamental issues (housing, education, and social care) are not addressed to help parents with living costs "it's hard to see how these new proposals will help".

In summary, the budget has addressed some issues however it is still unclear whether funding will address the root problem of inequality in Britain. 

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