In response to today’s Autumn Statement, ERSA Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh said:

“ERSA welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to reduce the Universal Credit taper rate as a definite move in the right direction.  However, getting UC right won’t be enough to move many jobseekers with the most complex needs into work. We’re therefore disappointed that the Chancellor has, so far, failed to reverse his predecessor’s misguided cuts to specialist employment support, which will see cuts of around 75% from April 2017. 

“We are pleased, however, to see the continued commitment to devolution with the announcement of the transfer of funds to Greater Manchester and London for employment support. Similarly, we welcome the devolution of the Adult Education Budget to London as an important step in driving more integrated place-based solutions. 

“We also welcome the Chancellor’s recognition of the increased economic uncertainty facing the UK and the scale of the productivity challenge.  Maintaining high quality employment services over this period will be essential to enable the government to react appropriately in the event of a future downturn, whilst helping to close the productivity gap between the UK and other areas.”