In his budget announcement on 3 March 2021, Rishi Sunak announced that the current Health Grant will be renewed in 2023 and the new agreement will include a commitment to life-time support for thalidomide survivors.
Talking about this important announcement, the Chancellor said “Thalidomide survivors and their families face daily challenges as a result of the drug – whilst we can’t change what happened, we can do everything possible to make their lives easier. That’s why I feel it is our duty to make this lifetime commitment to them, so they have the financial security they need, and can access support. Beneficiaries are able to personalise how the money is spent to meet their individual needs, and the Thalidomide Trust will continue to manage and oversee the grant”.
Although this commitment currently applies only to beneficiaries living in England, we very much hope that the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will quickly follow suit and pledge the same level of security and support to beneficiaries living in these countries. The Treasury has confirmed that they are committed to closely with the devolved administrations to ensure that this happens.