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Rishi Sunak’s generosity must go further to avert a long-term economic crisis | Budget 2021

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I learn Heather Stewart’s piece with curiosity (Sunak goes long on support for jobs – but says little about NHS or inequality, 3 March). The funds actually did “go lengthy”, however I’d nonetheless ask whether or not it was sufficient. We must always actually welcome measures just like the extension to furlough and top-ups to common credit score. The problem is that they danger kicking key points down the street except the federal government follows them up with a long-term plan. The pandemic’s influence on jobs gained’t finish after we elevate restrictions.

The boundaries going through disabled jobseekers are systemic. Our analysis exhibits that the pandemic has exacerbated these boundaries. Now’s the time for the federal government to create specialised assist for disabled jobseekers, and prolong key abilities programmes like Kickstart. Taking motion now will do a lot to halt a deeper employment disaster and longer-term incapacity discrimination. We additionally have to see gaps in social care addressed. Disabled adults want social care with a view to work. We can’t be mentioned to be levelling up the nation if disabled individuals are unnoticed of the financial restoration.
Gemma Hope
Director of coverage, Leonard Cheshire

Rishi Sunak missed a chance to place proper an anomaly within the tax system (Spend now, pay later: Sunak flags major tax rises as Covid bill tops £400bn, 3 March). People who stick with it working after they’ve reached state pension age are presently exempt from paying nationwide insurance coverage. Sunak ought to have eliminated this exemption and brought it a step additional by requiring all pensioners to pay NI if their earnings warrants it.

This may haven’t any influence on these solely reliant on the state pension on condition that NI is payable solely on incomes of greater than £183 every week (for 2020-21). However as Sunak properly is aware of, it might be vital for well-off pensioners and lead to them making a considerably greater contribution – undoubtedly a deterrent for a Tory chancellor. The additional funds may have been earmarked for the NHS and social care, which might have made the measure extra palatable to these impacted by the change.

As a pensioner, I feel we should always share the prices of restoration between generations. It smacks of intergenerational unfairness to place the load disproportionately on these of working age. We must always all be on this collectively.
Mike Pender
Cardiff

The NHS obtained simply two mentions within the budget speech. Initially Rishi Sunak provided “immense reward” for its efforts and on the finish he promised to “hold our NHS robust”, however within the guts of the speech, the place it mattered, there was nothing. No cash for extra hospital beds, nurses or docs and no cash for social care or psychological well being. As a commentary on the heroic efforts of NHS employees over the past 12 months and their wants going ahead, it was onerous to consider.
Michael Leigh
London

Rishi Sunak in his budget speech: “I’ve and all the time shall be trustworthy with the nation concerning the challenges we face.” I’m not certain how he can sq. that with a failure to say the adversarial financial influence of Brexit, which each the unbiased Workplace for Funds Accountability and Financial institution of England have estimated shall be higher than that of Covid-19.
Adrian Cosker
Hitchin, Hertfordshire

The Guardian is filled with articles accusing Rishi Sunak of “pork barrelling”. Am I proper in pondering that was certainly one of David Cameron’s Bullingdon Membership rituals?
Martin Piercy
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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