Hunt likely to save spending spree for polling day, not budget speech

Posted: March 13th 2023


The budget will undoubtedly have an impact on rural health and care and this snippet from the Guardian reveals new action on pension tax which could impact on workforce issues in the NHS. We also know that issues such as heating costs and pay rises have an indirect impact on the health and well-being of rural dwellers and measures linked to them are profiled here.

Business and consumer groups want a short-term extension of support for energy bills, to cover the period before the fall in wholesale prices starts to feed through. They also want the chancellor to ease planned increases in tax, and especially corporation tax, which they say will limit investment.

Public sector workers have demanded a pay rise above the 3.5% Hunt has budgeted for, and households more generally will want an extension of the energy price guarantee at its current level until July, especially now that it will cost the government less than £3bn.

Hunt is expected to offer some giveaways, including cash for childcare schemes, and a cut in pension tax for the better-off has also been signalled, which pension experts describe as a clumsy effort to prevent GPs and surgeons nearing retirement from quitting the health service.