6 March 2024 News

Image Panoramic photograph of Big Ben bridge on a sunny day in London.

Today the Government released their Spring Budget detailing their plans for the upcoming year. We submitted a statement ahead of this describing the key needs of people living with motor neurone disease (MND) and will continue to push the government on these important issues.  

This Budget comes in the context of an extended period of increasing prices and cost of living pressures for all. For no group has this been more pronounced than for people affected by MND, due to the additional costs of managing and living with the condition.

One positive note from the Budget was the continuation of funding for the Household Support Fund at its current level for another six months. This enables vulnerable people to receive support with essential costs from their local council at this difficult time. However, this falls short of the targeted energy support that we have called for to help people living with MND. Families managing advanced stages of the condition have told the MND Association that they currently spend between £800 and £900 a month on their household electricity bill, which equates to an astronomical £10,000 a year. We continue to call on the Government to provide a long-term solution to support vulnerable households to cope with the high cost of energy.

We welcome the announcement of a further £3.4bn investment in the NHS to support the delivery of the NHS Productivity Plan. However, it is disappointing to see no additional investment for social care services. At a time when many people living with MND struggle to access the skilled care they require, there is a clear need for additional investment to address workforce challenges and deliver a sustainable, long-term funding solution for social care services.

Finally, this budget was notable for what was absent from it - namely, any improved support for unpaid carers. Going forward we will maintain our commitment to increase this support through pushing for reform of Carer’s Allowance by uplifting the rate to a level that reflects the value unpaid carers offer.