Spring Budget 2023: What it means for people living with cancer

Published: 15 March 2023
The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Spring Budget for 2023 to Parliament on Wednesday 15th March. In this blog, we share some of the key announcements, including updates on energy bills support, childcare and fuel duty.

Ciarán Norris Head of Campaigns & Public Affairs at Macmillan

Spring Budget summary

The Spring Budget is when the Chancellor of the Exchequer provides an update to parliament about the state of the UK economy, and the government’s plan for spending for the year.


The UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, presented his Spring Budget for 2023 on Wednesday 15th March. At Macmillan, we were calling for an urgent package of support for cancer services and a long term fully funded workforce plan for England.


Here is more information about some of the key points for people living with cancer from the Spring Budget 2023. We will keep this blog updated if and when we have more information.

Energy bills support

The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) is the support scheme which caps typical dual-fuel gas and electricity energy bills in Great Britain to £2,500 a year and in Northern Ireland to around £1,950 per year. This was due to end in April, but has now been extended for a further three months over April, May and June. 

The extension will save a typical household £160 over those three months on the energy price cap and has been agreed with energy companies. It is important to note that this price cap limits the amount suppliers can charge per unit of gas or electricity. It is not a cap on the total cost, and people who use more, will pay more. There is no need to apply for this support, nor to contact your energy supplier, as these discounts are applied automatically. 

The Chancellor also announced an end to the energy premium paid by those who use prepayment meters, which it’s estimated will save households around £45 per year from July.  

If you are worried about energy bills, you can read our energy advice

30 hours free childcare

Currently, working parents in England with children who are three and four-year-olds are eligible for 30 hours of free childcare per week. This is now being expanded to cover one and two-year-olds. 

You can read more on the GOV.UK website about 30 hours free childcare, including information about eligibility and the different schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Fuel duty cut

Fuel duty is a tax included in the price you pay for petrol, diesel and other fuels used in vehicles or for heating.  

A cut of 5p per litre to fuel duty was announced in last year’s Spring Budget. This was set to end in March 2023, but the Chancellor announced that it would be extended for another twelve months.

Reforms to the benefits system

The Government published a White Paper that sets out proposed changes to the benefits system for people with disabilities and health conditions that include cancer. It includes things like scrapping the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and replacing the Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) of Universal Credit (UC) with a new UC ‘Health Element’.


These changes to the benefits system mean that people who are waiting for, undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment will continue to access additional benefit entitlement under the new ‘Health Element’ without having to have a face-to-face assessment.  We are still waiting for more details on how this would work in practice and we will update this blog if and when we have more information.

If you are worried about these proposed changes to the benefits system, it’s important to remember that they will not be introduced immediately. Macmillan will also continue to campaign for a benefits system that works for and reflects the needs of people living with cancer.

Support for people with cancer who are worried about money

Help with money 

We know cancer can be tough on your finances. If you’re worried about money, there is support available. We have information about the cost of living crisis, as well as help with money and work.  

You can also speak to a Macmillan Financial Guide. They are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. To speak to someone: 


Help with how you’re feeling 

Worrying about money can affect your mental health. We’re here for you if you need emotional support.  
Read more about the emotional support that’s available if you’re worried about money


Visit the GOV.UK website for full details of the Spring Budget 2023.

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