08 March 2017
The British Psychological Society has welcomed moves in the budget to support women-focused initiatives, and extra investment in social care, but continues to campaign for equitable investment in mental health and the NHS.
In his speech today, Philip Hammond committed a further £20m of government funding to support the campaign against violence against women and girls, taking its commitment to this campaign to over £100m in this parliament.
This is in addition to the ‘tampon tax’, which provides another £12m in support of women’s charities across the UK.
The Chancellor also announced £5m to promoting ‘returnships’ in both the public and private sector, helping women back into employment after a career break.
Professor Kinderman also welcomed the announcement of an extra £2bn in grant to local authorities to fund spending on social care:
“The Chancellor’s announcement of an extra two billion pounds for adult social care is welcome, obviously. All serious commentators realise that there is a crisis in social care and that this puts huge pressures on the already struggling NHS as well as causing massive personal distress. And investment in social care is probably a very wise priority.
But it is important to note that even this welcome £2bn falls far short of the £9.5bn that the BMA and other independent commentators judge is needed merely to address the short-fall in NHS funding.
We need to welcome this investment, but to remind government that social care, health care and, perhaps particularly, mental health care, is still woefully under-funded in the UK.”
He went on to say:
“The publication of a green paper on social care later this year will be a chance to debate the future of policy in this vital area. The Society will make sure the evidence from psychological science are fully taken into account, so there is the right emphasis on social justice inclusion and human rights. People need access to appropriate care across the lifespan."
Professor Kinderman welcomed the announcement that maintenance loans will be offered to part time undergraduates and that doctoral loans will be available in all subjects for the first time, while adding that:
“The chancellor also promised an extra £300m for research, including 1000 new PhD place and fellowships focused on STEM subjects.
We shall be seeking assurances that psychology will be included here. As will all budget announcements, it is best to wait for the details before reaching firm conclusions.”