Responses to the budget from arts and health sectors

A summary of the 2021 Budget can be found here on the government's site.

The Nuffield Trust's response to the budget has drawn attention to the need for structural reform of social care, expressing disappointment that the budget contained "no lifeline for our struggling social care sector". The Health Foundation echoes much of this response, explaining that the "public services underpinning recovery [have been] left perilously underfunded".

Mind's response welcomes the extension of the furlough scheme but draws attention to the need to tackle the social determinants of health that underpin the impacts of the pandemic. Mind also urges the  Department for Work and Pensions "to end repeated reassessments and remove sanctions from people with long term mental health problems".

The King's Fund has also published a response to the Department of Health & Social Care's Integration and Innovation White Paper, which welcomes some health sector reforms that remove competition, but echoed others' call for reform of social care.

Arts Professional reports on a general welcome for the budget's support for the cultural sector.

The new arts funding includes

  • an extra £300m for the Culture Recovery Fund
  • £90m for museums
  • £18m for regional cultural infrastructure projects

The SEISS will be extended to the newly self-employed, covering about 600,000 freelancers who were previously unable to present a 2019/20 tax return. There is still no relief for directors working through their own limited companies or those who make too much of their income through traditional employment, however.

The Musicians' Union has called for cultural recovery funding to be made available to excluded freelancers, saying up to 20% of musicians are currently lacking support.