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UK Government’s fiscal event ‘complete failure’ says Mind

Friday, 23 September 2022 Mind

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced various financial measures in the House of Commons today in a ‘fiscal event.’

Responding to the announcements, Vicki Nash, Associate Director of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind said:

“Today’s financial announcements from the UK government will be a major cause of concern for those who were relying on real, meaningful financial help to get through a tough winter ahead – including thousands of people living with mental health problems. For many of those we help, today’s announcement offers no reassurance.

“The Chancellor could have stood up today and announced straightforward policies to help people stay afloat this winter, such as urgently increasing benefits at least in line with inflation, so that benefits can actually cover people’s bills and other rising costs. Or he could have increased the amount people will be receiving from cost-of-living-crisis payments, to make up for the shortfall in support people are facing. People with mental health problems need money in their pockets now, and those who receive benefits deserve the reassurance that their income won’t be cut in real-terms again next year.

“Instead, the UK government has completely failed to help those on the lowest incomes today. We hope to see the Chancellor back at the dispatch box soon, with policies which will genuinely help those most at risk of financial destitution.

“With financial stress taking a huge toll on people's wellbeing, the nation deserves NHS mental health services that can give us the right support when we need it most. With a recession looming, the pressure on our already struggling mental health system is due to ramp up, and the system urgently needs to be fully and properly funded to address the challenges ahead. The Chancellor needs to recognise this, and act urgently.

“This lack of joined-up thinking on mental health from the UK government as we continue to weather this economic crisis is exactly why a cross-Government mental health plan is essential. A successful and fully-funded plan would identify and address the many contributory factors to poor mental health, including problems with employment, finances, accessing benefits and housing; and set out clear steps to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services.”

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