Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his Comprehensive Spending Review. The review set out the Government departments’ resource budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24.
Here are some of the Chancellor’s main points:
- New funding that takes the budget for coronavirus vaccines over £6 billion, part of over £18 billion to fund preventative coronavirus measures
- An additional £254 million investment to help reduce rough sleeping and homelessness
- The new £2.9 billion restart scheme to help more than one million unemployed people look for work
- A pay increase of at least £250 for public sector workers earning less than £24,000
- The National Living Wage will increase to £8.91 for those aged 23 and over
- Increasing the schools budget by £2.2 billion in 2021/22, and a commitment to rebuild 500 schools over the next decade
- An additional £400 million to recruit another 6,000 new police officers in 2021/22, putting us on track to recruit 20,000 new officers by 2023
- £70 million for Counter-Terrorism Policing
- An increase in defence spending of over £24 billion over the next 4 years – this will be the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War
- Nearly £20 billion of investment to support new housing from 2021/22, including the introduction of a £7.1 billion National Home Building Fund and the £12.2 billion Affordable Homes Programme
Although I was not selected to speak at the Spending Review, this truly is an economic emergency. I remain extremely concerned about the awful state of our public finances, especially because we seem to be at the UK’s upper taxable limit as per David B. Smith’s paper published on Politeia.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted the economy will shrink by 11.3% this year, the biggest fall for 300 years, and unemployment will rise to 7.5%.
These grave forecasts highlight why we need a clear, realistic and proportionate roadmap to recovery.