17 Nov 2022

CIH responds to Autumn Statement

Earlier today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons aimed at restoring stability to the economy, protecting public services and building long-term prosperity.

To see a summary of the support measures announced see Cost of living support Factsheet - GOV.UK

Responding to the announcement by the Chancellor, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) chief executive, Gavin Smart said:

“We’re pleased to see the government taking action to support those most in need via additional cost of living payments and support with energy bills from next April. We welcome confirmation that benefits will not be cut next April but uprated in line with September CPI, along with an increase to the household benefit cap. Those on the lowest incomes will still face considerable pressures this winter however, so we believe there is a strong case for the benefit uprating to be brought forward from April. Households who have faced a real terms benefits cut cannot wait for the system to catch up.

"On social rent setting, we support the government’s decision to cap rents at 7 per cent and to exempt social housing providers, recognising that 7 per cent is a maximum limit and not a target. Housing providers will need to look hard at whether they can set rents below this. As we set out in our consultation response, any related benefit savings generated by this cap (HM Treasury estimate £135m next year) should be used to support tenants and residents with cost of living pressures.

"We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not use this opportunity to restore local housing allowance to the 30th percentile, as we had called for. The decision to leave rates frozen at 2020 levels means that the affordability gap for private renters will only grow, ultimately resulting in increased homelessness. We would urge government to look again at this.

"There are lots of other measures in the Budget which we still need to work through, and we’ll provide further briefing for members over the coming days.”

We are preparing a what you need to know guide for members which will be available shortly.