Dear Mr Gwynne,

Thank you for your letter to Sir Ian Diamond regarding comments made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 7 March, during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. During this interview, the Chancellor said:

“On social care, in my first Autumn Statement I put up the budget by nearly 40 per cent, over £5 billion or nearly £5 billion.”

In September 2021, the Government announced plans for additional funding for social care totalling £5.4 billion over 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25. In Autumn Statement 2022, the Chancellor increased this by 39 per cent to up to £7.5 billion but, having delayed some of the reforms, said that the additional funding would comprise up to £2.8 billion in 2023-24 and up to £4.7 billion in 2024-25. Treasury officials told us that it was this uplift in 2024-25 that the Chancellor referred to as “nearly £5 billion”. The reference to an increase of “nearly 40 per cent” presumably referred to the increase in the size of the overall funding package.

In an ideal world, the Chancellor would have been clearer about exactly what budget he was referring to and the time periods he was comparing. That would certainly be my expectation in a prepared statement or speech, but such clarity is less easy to achieve in an off-the-cuff response to an interview question.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Robert Chote


Related links

Andrew Gwynne MP to Professor Sir Ian Diamond – social care funding