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IOSH statement: “Magic wand” was missing from UK Budget

Date posted
07 March 2024
Corey Edwards
Estimated reading time
2 minute read

IOSH has released the following statement following UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget.

Corey Edwards, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at IOSH, said: “The Government has been very clear that its top priorities include growing the economy, cutting NHS waiting lists and reducing debt. With the rise in economic inactivity and ill health inextricably linked, the closest thing to a magic wand to achieve all three of these priorities is having a healthy, productive workforce.

“This Budget represented a significant opportunity to address this. It was an opportunity to tackle record levels of long-term sickness, a national mental health crisis and high levels of economic inactivity. But it has fallen well short of this, so is very much a case of opportunity missed and we are still searching for the magic wand.

“The Government claims the tax cuts it is introducing will lead to equivalent of 200,000 more full-time workers joining the labour market. Although the move might attract the economically inactive into work, it does not address the health concerns. We must improve people’s health to unleash the potential of the working-age population.

“Meanwhile, the country’s mental health crisis needs rapid attention, and while we endorse measures to support bringing people back to work, equal focus must be given to prevention. Good occupational safety and health measures in the workplace will help prevent the workers of today becoming the economically inactive of tomorrow.” 

Last updated: 18 March 2024

Corey Edwards

Job role
Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager


  • Economy
  • Health and wellbeing
  • People and workforce
  • Stronger safety and health will get young people back into work
  • Workplace health will help deliver economic growth

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