Today’s autumn statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has been met with mixed reactions as people across the country come to terms with the Government’s new approach will affect them personally.
GB News’ Sophie Reaper visited Stockport in Greater Manchester to get local people’s views on the latest economic announcements.
Sophie spoke with Nicole, a local self-employed working mum, to get her thoughts on the Government’s strategy for boosting the economy, and how it’s likely to affect real people.
Sophie opened the conversation, saying: “Nicole, in that Autumn Statement we heard from the Chancellor that they’re going to be increasing Universal Credit, that they’re going to be cutting National Insurance. And on the face of it, all of that sounds great, but in real terms, are they doing enough to help families?”
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Working mum Nicole from Stockport discusses Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement
“Not in today’s needs,” Said Nicole. “We’re talking about an increase in April next year based on September’s inflation rates. So that’s six months from now when people need that help through Christmas and through some of the most difficult times.
“So no, for me they need to actually make that change today in line with the inflation as it is now.”
Sophie continued, “I know you’re self-employed, you have your own business. There was a lot of talk in the statement about what they’re going to be doing for self-employed people including abolishing Class 2 National Insurance.
“Do you think that the government is now going to be doing enough for those people who are self-employed?”
“Not really. I think there needs to be more focus on grants to help those self-employed and for people in startup stages who are needing extra support for things like Universal Credit. Getting rid of this cap to stop people from benefiting from some kind of income while they’re actually getting their business up and running.
“There was something I do want to talk about because one of the big things that’s come out of today’s statement is they’re wanting to get people back into work.
“There’s a huge population of people that want to get back into work that can’t get back into work. And that is the parents because we are stuck in this archaic time of Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 where we’ve got parents paying for somebody else to take their children to school, pick them up, and they’re only seeing their children when they put them to bed.
“This is increasing people’s anxiety, and it is actually leading to burnout as well. And they’re basically paying for somebody else to raise their children.
Today’s Autumn Statement saw Jeremy Hunt confirm that the Government will honour its commitment to the state pension triple lock, increasing pensions by 8.5 per cent
“If we can actually put flexible working into place, we can improve our families lives, we can look after our children and we can actually help lower anxiety, improve sleep and mental health. Therefore we can actually improve productivity and performance.
“28% of parents have left the workplace after going back in after having a baby. That’s off some research that I’ve done this year. If anybody wants to read more, they can find that report on nicoleratcliffe.co.uk.”
Sophie wrapped up, saying: “Anyone saying that the people in this country are not paying attention to what’s going on in Westminster clearly need to have a word with Nicole.
“She’s so well informed. And it just goes to show that people, not just in Stockport but all over the country, are so interested in what has been said today in the Autumn Statement.”
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