What the Spring Budget means for Norfolk
While the Chancellor’s spring budget has some welcome measures that will make a difference to people living in our county, we have to face the reality of the current situation.
Everyone in Norfolk will be facing changes. We are heading into what is claimed to be the biggest fall in living standards since the end of the Second World War. Inflation is at a 30-year high. The typical working-age household will be around £1000 out of pocket this year. Most people will have to forego some luxuries, like expensive holidays or eating out, but for some Norfolk people, these changes will mean cutting out essentials. Nationally, it is expected that a further 1.3 million people will fall into absolute poverty – meaning their income will be insufficient to meet basic needs.
Norfolk appears a wealthy county on the surface, but there are alarming levels of ‘invisible poverty’ – especially in rural areas where support is more difficult to access. Our local charities have been on the frontlines, tackling the most pressing issues like food and fuel poverty. Our county is a unique place, and the Spring Budget will have a unique effect on people living here.
What it means for Norfolk Charities
The pressure on charities is going to be enormous, especially as the sector as a whole are expected to experience a £2 billion income dip as a result of these policies. Already running hot from working tirelessly through the pandemic to support Norfolk’s most vulnerable people, they will be expected to crank up a gear once again as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
We are always thankful for our Norfolk VCSEs and will continue to support them through funding, professional advice and our networks as they help Norfolk’s most vulnerable people through this difficult chapter. We will also be ramping up our efforts to fund exciting, new projects that will push back against the current crisis.
We hope that we can continue working with Norfolk County Council to deliver the next round of the Household Support Fund, once again supporting vulnerable people through Norfolk’s charities, voluntary organisations and community groups. We are hopeful that the next round of funding will offer greater potential for meeting energy needs after the price cap increases in April. Our Nourishing Norfolk initiative also continues to roll out, but we are seeking additional support to accelerate its progress.