A DISTRICT housing boss says the Budget failed to protect people facing a cost-of-living crisis.

Lee Bloomfield – chief executive officer of Manningham Housing Association, which manages properties in Keighley and Bradford – said he was “disappointed” that more measures weren’t included to support those on the lowest incomes.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced an adjustment to the universal credit taper rate to reduce the impact of the Government decision to scrap the £20-a-week uplift, which had been part of the emergency Covid support package.

But Mr Bloomfield questions how much effect the adjustment will have.

“I welcome the cut in the universal credit taper rate but this will only benefit a minority of those already losing £20 per week after the Government chose not to extend the uplift,” he said.

“With Rishi Sunak admitting that inflation will average at least four per cent next year and with National Insurance and other tax increases on the horizon, any perceived benefits from the rise in the national living wage and the removal of the pay freeze for public sector workers will be eaten-up.

“As energy prices continue to rocket, many people on the lowest incomes – including Manningham Housing Association residents and the wider communities we serve – are likely to be in an even worse financial position as a result of the Chancellor’s failure to properly protect them.”

Amanda Beresford, chair of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said there were Budget positives for many of the region’s businesses – but that “the devil would be in the detail”.

“The Chamber warmly welcomes the encouraging news that the national economy is forecast to return to pre-Covid levels in the coming months – markedly sooner than expected,” she said. “Similarly, the projected peak of unemployment revised to a figure standing at less than half of initial worries is doubly uplifting.

“Businesses will be particularly emboldened by the series of measures announced to support firms with their tax burden. The 50 per cent discount in business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure is also a welcome measure that will go some way in backing three of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. Other moves towards business rate reform from 2023 will be well received among firms too. As with all Budgets, however, the devil will be in the detail.”