landscape shot of the Houses of ParliamentThe annual Budget outlines the Government’s financial priorities for the year and the UK’s economic situation. It can make changes to policies on taxation, such as increasing or reducing income tax, and also to how much each government department can spend. More information on how the Budget works can be found on Parliament’s website.


This year’s Budget will take place on Monday, 29 October, from around 3.30pm
. You can watch it live on BBC Two. We will also be live tweeting from @NASCampaigns.

There are lots of rumours about what might be included. Here are some of the big issues which could come up that affect autistic people, and their families: 

NHS 

The Government announced in the summer that they would create a new 10-year strategy for the NHS, called the Long Term Plan. It also pledged to increase funding by £20.5bn a year in real terms by 2023-24. The Government is set to announce how it will pay for this in the Budget. It could be through new or additional taxes, for example.

This will be important because the Long Term Plan includes autism, alongside learning disability, as a clinical priority. Some of this money must be spent tackling the issues that autistic people face using the NHS. However, in his Budget, we only expect the Chancellor to announce how the Government will arrange the overall funding – rather than making any announcements specifically on autism.  

Social care

The National Autistic Society is a member of the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), a coalition of 90 charities campaigning for more money for social care. 

As part of the CSA, we have been calling on the Government to fund the estimated £2.5bn social care funding gap estimated by 2019/20. Cuts to social care have left many disabled and elderly people without the support they need for things like eating, washing, and getting out of bed. More than 1 in 4 disabled 18-64 year olds who rely on council funding have had their care cut, according to a new CSA survey.

We welcomed the recent announcement by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, that he would put £240m towards social care to ease pressure on the NHS this winter – and on families and carers too. But far more needs to be done to address this pressure properly, and make sure people get the care and support they need.

We don’t expect this Budget to announce a longer term review of social care spending. A Government Green Paper is expected on this early next year.

Universal Credit

The Chancellor is expected to make changes to Universal Credit amid concerns about how the benefit is being rolled out and how long people have to wait for payments. 

Our charity, as part of the Disability Benefits Consortium, has previously raised a variety of issues in relation to Universal Credit. In particular, we have expressed concern about the difficulties many autistic people have managing their finances. 

We will be looking for more detail of any changes to Universal Credit and how these can benefit autistic people during the Budget announcement.  

Education

We will also be listening for any announcements on education funding, particularly for children with special educational needs or a disability. However, we are not expecting an announcement as there have not been rumours about big announcements on education spending.

Watching the Budget

We will be live tweeting the Budget through our @NASCampaigns Twitter account and will post a short blog about any significant changes announced on Monday.
 
You can watch the Budget live on BBC Two.