What the Spending Review means for our community

On Wednesday 25 November, chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the latest Spending Review, against a backdrop of economic uncertainty

Here we take a quick look at what the spending announcements mean for people with Parkinson's, carers and families.

Research spending gets a boost

There was a £740m boost for research and development. Medical research charities are waiting to hear whether this boost will include any funding to address the shortfall we've experienced during the pandemic. 

We'll be working closely with other medical research charities to make the case to the government for additional financial support to safeguard this vital research.

Increases in health spending

The chancellor announced an increase in funding to the health budget in England. He allocated funds to refurbish 70 hospitals and build 40 new ones. 

He also allocated £559m to modernise technology across the NHS and £325m to replace equipment to help improve the diagnosis of conditions.  

Sunak also pledged an additional £3bn to help the NHS recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes £1bn to tackle the long waits for operations and care, and £6bn for vaccines.

He allocated £260m for 2021 to 2022 to grow the NHS workforce. This includes training more new nurses and doctors, increasing the mental health workforce and delivering training to NHS staff.

He also rewarded 1 million nurses, doctors and NHS staff with a pay rise. 

Social care loses out, again

Disappointingly the chancellor didn't share a long-term solution to address the social care funding crisis.

He did however announce the government would maintain the £1bn grant they gave social care last year. 

And he shared they would also give local authorities the power to increase their council tax to raise funds for social care.

No increase to disability benefits

While the chancellor focused on funding support to get people back into work, changes to Universal Credit that he announced at the start of the pandemic were not made permanent. He also failed to extend them to legacy benefits, as we've been calling for.

This means there will be no extension of the £20 per week uplift of Universal Credit past the end of March 2021.

A mixed picture for Parkinson's

Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigning at Parkinson's UK, said:

"Overall the Spending Review is a mixed picture for people with Parkinson's.

"An increase in health spending is welcome to help tackle long waiting lists and make sure the NHS can provide the high quality services people with the condition need to stay well. 

"But we need to clarify that a boost for research spending will help medical research charities like us keep supporting vital research to find better treatments. 

"And we're disappointed that announcements around Universal Credit and social care will fail to provide the vital support that people with the condition need. We'll continue to work with others in the sector to put pressure on the government to fund these areas adequately."

Campaigning for change

We're fighting for a fair benefits system and high quality health and social care for people with Parkinson's.

Find out more about our campaigns and how you can get involved.