Following the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, the Catholic Union has issued the following statement.

Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, comments: “Extending support for energy bills and the expected fall in inflation later this year will come as a relief to many, but this continues to be a difficult time for people across the country. It was extremely disappointing that those on the margins of society appear to have been overlooked with no mention of the homeless or refugees.

Extra support for suicide prevention and the £100 million promised for charities are welcome, but given the scale of the financial challenges facing the charitable sector, this is unlikely to go very far. Bolder reforms such as changes to Gift Aid and incentives for people to volunteer would have been a better way to help the voluntary sector.

While the increase in childcare support will help some parents, it was deeply disappointing to hear children described simply as ‘barriers to work’ in the Chancellor’s statement. We need a much better national conversation on childcare, in which children are seen as a blessing and not a burden to parents.

We will continue to make the case for reform of our tax and benefit system so that it does not discriminate against people with caring responsibilities. We’ve set out our proposals in a letter to the Chancellor, but time is running out to see meaningful change in this Parliament.

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