Rethink Mental Illness responds to Autumn Statement

22 November 2023

Today the government made its Autumn Statement, which set out a raft of changes to the support people receive through the benefits system.

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: 

“The Chancellor clearly has tough decisions to make, but there is also the business of subtle and not so subtle emphasis at play here. On the grounds that many people living with mental illness want to work but don’t have appropriate support to help them find the right job and stay in employment, the significant expansion of schemes like Individual Placement Support is a very good, forward-thinking and sensible step, alongside increasing benefit levels. 

“However, the choice to leave people who are too unwell to work reeling in fear that they will endure poverty through harsh, counterproductive and ineffective sanctions of the welfare payments they rely on, means that today’s Autumn Statement feels bittersweet. The government has expanded the level of support to help people get to where they want to be, but at the same time increased the threat that they could lose the safety net all of us should be able to rely on if we’re seriously unwell.”