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Budget 2016 summary

Key changes from the 2016 budget

View budget documents

Independent living: getting a life

Social Care

2.19: The government will exempt war pension payments made to injured veterans from the social care means test in England from April 2017.


Disability and sickness benefits

2.76: The budget mentions changes to PIP rules in relation to terminal illness and aids and adaptations (since abandoned) as already announced. The Government is considering the case for long-term reform of disability benefits and services ‘that is fair for the taxpayer and for those with disabilities or health conditions.’

2.78: The government will increase the number of presenting officers in attendance at Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments tribunal hearings from 2017.

1.69: Spending in 2015-16 on PIP and Disability Living Allowance, is expected to be over £3 billion higher in real terms than in 2009-10. Spending on these benefits is forecast to be higher in real terms in 2019-20 than in 2009-10.

Household benefit cap exemptions

2.73: From Autumn 2016, the government will introduce exemptions for recipients of Guardians Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and the carers element of Universal Credit from the household benefit cap, which caps the amount of benefits out-of-work working-age families can receive at £20,000, and at £23,000 in Greater London.

Housing benefit

2.74: The date from which new or renewed tenancies in the social sector will be subject to the cap on Housing Benefit at the relevant Local Housing Allowance rate will be deferred for supported accommodation – from April 2016 to April 2017 – to enable the government to complete a review of supported accommodation.

2.75: The government will delay the ending of the payments of Housing Benefit and Pension Credit to claimants who travel outside of Great Britain for longer than 4 weeks consecutively. This will now come into force in May 2016.

Contributory benefits for self employed

1.166 and 1.167: From April 2018, Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be abolished. The Government will reform Class 4 NICs as a route to self-employed individuals building entitlement to the State Pension and other contributory benefits.

Welfare Cap

1.70: The government’s intention is for the cap to be met by the end of the Parliament when the Office for Budget Responsibility conducts its next assessment at Autumn Statement 2016.  


2.18: The government will invest £1.5 million in sports prosthetics for children and create a fund to develop innovative prosthetics for the NHS.

Help to Save

1.113: The Government will introduce a new Help to Save scheme for those on low incomes who wish to regularly set aside some of their income. The scheme will be open to 3.5 million adults in receipt of Universal Credit with minimum weekly household earnings equivalent to 16 hours at the National Living Wage, or those in receipt of Working Tax Credit. It will work by providing a 50% Government bonus on up to £50 of monthly savings into a Help to Save account. The bonus will be paid after two years with an option to save for a further two years, meaning that people can save up to £2,400 and benefit from government bonuses worth up to £1,200. People will be able to use the funds in any way they wish.

Career opportunities – getting work, education and skills

Disability employment reform

1.134: Later this year, the government will publish a White Paper focusing on the roles that the health, care and welfare sectors can play in supporting disabled people and those with health conditions to get into and stay in work.

2.72: The government has accepted the recommendations of an expert-led taskforce on how to provide £330 million of additional funding for disabled claimants allocated at Summer Budget. This will include:

  • tailored peer support offer to offered shared experiences and support to disabled people
  • bespoke employment support directed at key priority groups, such as young people and those suffering from mental health conditions.

Tax credits

1.169: The Budget provides self-employed Working Tax Credit claimants with access to business support and will extend the mentoring support offered on the New Enterprise Allowance scheme to self-employed Universal Credit claimants. The government will also trial face-to-face support from Jobcentre advisors for self-employed Working Tax Credit claimants, with a view to national roll out if successful.

1.186: HMRC will provide 7-day a week helpline service by 2017, with extended hours and Sunday opening on online services and the tax and tax credits phone lines, so that people and businesses have more opportunity to contact HMRC outside of working hours