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The chancellor announced large scale investment in housing and infrastructure. He also restated the government’s “commitment to fiscal discipline.”

There was little in the way of direct announcements for charities in the Autumn Statement. Although changes to Gift Aid, which were already underway, are expected to translate into an extra £60 million in gift aid over the next five years, there are also rising costs which will make it more expensive for charities to do business.

Analysis by the Resolution Foundation shows that the squeeze on living standards could be worse during this parliament than between 2010 and 2015. The biggest losers are lower income families, with the lowest 30% of earners likely to see their income fall in the years ahead. The demand for services from third sector organisations is certain to increase. ACEVO has called this a “sticking plaster Autumn Statement” which ignores the needs of the most vulnerable.

Added to this gloomy outlook, the complications of Brexit create economic uncertainty and could lead to further policy changes next year. On that note, in future, the Budget will be announced in the autumn and a Spring Statement will respond to economic forecasts, but will not announce changes to fiscal policy. We can expect the joy of two budgets next year as these changes are put into place. It never rains, it pours!

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