Families across the UK are reacting to the Budget and what it means for their wallets.

This afternoon saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak lay out the biggest financial changes the UK can expect over the following months.

Some of the biggest announcements include slashing the dreaded taper rate for Universal Credit claimants from 63p to 55p.

The taper rate is how much your Universal Credit gets reduced by for every pound you earn through work.

The work allowance - the amount some claimants can earn before the taper kicks in - will also be raised by £500 a year, the Chancellor confirmed.

In other changes revealed in the Budget today, the Chancellor unveiled a tax cut for sparkling wines and beer and raised tobacco duties for smokers.

He also unveiled half-price business rates cut for shops and cinemas, as well as cutting Air Passenger Duty for domestic flights while raising it for long-haul.

The Mirror spoke to several families to get their view on the Budget...

'I'll struggle to pay bills unless uplift comes back'

Sarah Newman wants permanent changes to the way Universal Credit is calculated

Sarah Newman, 28, from Darlington, has been claiming Universal Credit on-and-off since leaving college.

She currently lives alone in a one-bed flat but says her partner and his young son also struggle on Universal Credit.

"My money has always been up and down," she explained.

"I personally don’t think slashing the taper rate will make much of a difference. I’ve worked part time before on Universal Credit and I was no better off.

"I'm currently getting £206 per month since the loss of the uplift and I can honestly say I struggle each and every month to pay bills, top up on rent.

"Staying out of debt is impossible also. I think the uplift helped but a permanent change needs to be put in place."

'Universal Credit claimants will struggle to make ends meet'

Sharron Spice also fears the taper rate reduction won't benefit her

Actress and writer Sharron Spice, who lives alone in north London, has been claiming Universal Credit since September when her full-time contract came to an end.

But she also fears the taper rate reduction won't make much difference to her money.

She said: "As someone that works part-time it doesn’t pay to work because of the taper. My first Universal Credit payment was so low it didn’t last the month because of the taper rate.

"If the Chancellor really wanted to help he could of significantly reduced the taper and reinstate the £20 uplift.

"Many people on Universal Credit who are struggling now will find it hard to make ends meet especially with cost of living rising.

"Also the taper will have no benefit to those that can’t work, are disabled or unemployed."

'Pensioners desperately need the triple lock back'

David wants more support for elderly Brits

David is aged 80 and lives alone in sheltered accommodation in the South Midlands.

He says he is "highly disappointed" that no major changes or support was announced for pensioners in the Budget.

David currently claims Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance.

"As far as I can see, there wasn’t anything at all for pensioners," said David, who used to work in the railway industry.

"I think the Chancellor should’ve reinstated the triple lock. It is vital that it comes back.

"I'd also like to see more financial support and extra support for benefits or bigger discounts.

"I know they keep on going on about social care as well but they’re doing it through the local councils but unless they ringfence it, it will make no sense to us."

'I've paid all my life - I was disappointed'

Stephen Hughes says their wasn't enough for pensioners in the Budget

Stephen Hughes, aged 60, from Lancaster, is a retired civil servant who agreed there needs to be a promise that the triple lock will come back into force.

He said: "If people have paid into their pension all their life, they need some sort of guarantee.

"They also need a legal commitment to keep up with prices and earnings.

"I had heard there might be some changes coming in to encourage people to join workplace pensions to tie in with people living longer, so I was a bit disappointed there wasn't.

"If you’re living longer, you need more an income."

'Government doesn't care about small businesses'

Jack Griffiths owns a clothing company and says it is time for the Government to do more

Jack Griffiths, 26, founded a clothing company in lockdown and said now is the time for the Government to "put their money where their mouth is" to help small business owners.

In particular, he said the £150million funding for Angel Investors - a regional funding programme - was welcome news.

"As the Chancellor said, businesses like Snuggy are the lifeblood of towns and cities across the UK, but often miss out on investment because of not being based in or around London," Jack explained.

"We’ll be looking into the details of this and seeing if it can benefit us.

"Coming from a small business owner looking to take on five to 10 staff in the next year, minimum wage rises I think are a step in the right direction, however not a big enough step.

"We’ve heard a lot this year about inflation and the minimum wage not rising up in conjunction with it, so i think that needs to be looked at in more detail."

'Small firms will have to lay off staff when wages go up'

Anne-Mari Niemela says small businesses may struggle to make higher wage bills (


Anne-Mari Niemela)

Anne-Mari Niemela, 51, is the managing director of Leicestershire print shop FoxPrint, which has a staff of nine people.

She said small businesses have been battered by the pandemic, but now may struggle further due to rising wages and other bills.

Speaking to The Mirror, Niemela said: "To be honest, he [Sunak] seems to have forgotten that small businesses like mine have just gone through the toughest 20 months in our histories.

"I'm all for wages going up, but how hard will that hit our cash flow as a business? I'm going to be in debt, personally, for a long time.

"This may mean redundancies. There is only so much you can do cashflow-wise when the cost of everything is going up. Something is going to have to give."

The Chancellor does not care about smaller businesses, Niemela added.

"As a business owner, I don't think he understands how microbusinesses work," she said.

"In his Budget he was more interested in talking about flights and champagne. I don't think he really likes manufacturing as we're not as pretty as other areas."

'I'll have to work two jobs once minimum wage rises'

Sharon Birch will need to take on another job

Sharon Birch, 56, owns a nursery in Hartlepool but says she'll have to take on another job to afford to keep her staff in work following the rise in minimum wage.

"I own a childcare business and have over 30 employees. I can't afford to pay the minimum wage increase," she said.

"We win awards, we are outstanding, but the money is horrendous. I earn much less than £15 an hour myself for huge responsibility.

"What business owner has to take another job to keep their staff in work? The alternative is to close and everyone loses their job."

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