Exactly what Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review will mean for your money
What next year’s rates will work out as (Image: Getty Images)
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has laid out his plans for your money as part of his Spending Review.
While not a full Budget – so there were no changes to taxes announced – there was still plenty to be getting on with.
With firms required to plan months in advance, some decisions couldn't be put off.
So today we've seen next year's benefits rises and state pension payouts confirmed.
The Chancellor also announced plans for minimum wage rises as well as pay rises for some public sector workers.
"We’re prioritising jobs, businesses and public services," Sunak told MPs.
But with hundreds of billions spent already, the Chancellor warned: "This situation is clearly unsustainable over the medium term."
And that meant purse strings were being pulled as tight as possible in a number of areas.
This is what's changing next year.
Have you been affected by the pay freeze? Email [email protected]
Benefits rises were worth just pennies a week
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So-called 'legacy' benefits as well as those for carers will rise by just 0.5% next year.
That means a rise of just 37p a week to the £74.35 standard rate of Jobseekers' Allowance or sickness and disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance.
The rise for children and under-25s looks set to be even smaller, and the separate Carer's Allowance looks set to rise by just 34p.
As for Universal Credit – the key question concerning the £20 a week added as part of the coronavirus response – was repeatedly dodged by the Chancellor.
The rise here was 5 times as high as for legacy benefits
(Image: Universal Images Group Editorial)
State pension rise confirmed at £4.40 a week next year in smallest possible increase
The state pension is set to rise just £4.40 a week next year, in the smallest rise allowed by legislation.
But representing a 2.5% increase, it's still five times the rise in other benefit payouts.
The increase means the ‘new’ basic state pension is set to rise from £175.20 to £179.60 a week – representing £228.80 a year.
The ‘old’ basic-rate state pension will rise by £3.40 a week from £134.25 to £137.65.
Minimum wage will be rising 19p an hour in April
Millions of minimum wage workers to get just 19p pay rise next April
The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 an hour next April, with this rate extended to those aged 23 and over.
That's a 19p and hour rise compared to this year for over-25s.
We are accepting in full the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Living Wage by 2.2% to £8.91 an hour; to extend this rate to those aged 23 and over; and to increase the National Minimum Wage rates as well," Sunak said.
"A full-time worker on the National Living Wage will see their annual earnings increase by £345 next year."
There was some good news as Sunak confirmed that NHS staff would be getting a pay rise.
"We will provide a pay rise to over a million Nurses, Doctors and others working in the NHS," Sunak said.
Other public sector workers
Millions of frontline public sector staff will get no pay rise at all
Millions of public sector workers dealt cruel pay freeze – but NHS will be exempt
There was bad news for many of the nation's public sector workers, however.
"Unlike workers in the private sector, who have lost jobs, been furloughed, seen wages cut, and hours reduced, the public sector has not," Sunak said.
"In such a difficult context for the private sector – especially for those people working in sectors like retail, hospitality, and leisure I cannot justify a significant, across-the-board pay increase for all public sector workers"
That means everyone from teachers to police officers and more.
This blow was softened for those on lower incomes.
"The 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000, will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250," Sunak said.