On November 25th, the Chancellor set out our Spending Review – a plan which focuses on levelling up across the country to make sure that the UK builds back better from coronavirus. Our economy has been significantly impacted by this public health crisis, and we are making sure to invest in jobs, healthcare and infrastructure so that the UK can recover as far and as fast as possible. Our NHS is set to benefit from over £6 billion in budget growth next year, with new and improved hospitals and an increased workforce of doctors and nurses. We're improving infrastructure - with £100 billion in capital spending on roads, rail, broadband coverage and housing, and increasing the National Living Wage whilst upping support for the unemployed to find work. Economic recovery from the pandemic will take time, and hard work, but this package of financial support for the UK has been designed to help us get back on our feet.
Key economic commitments in the Spending Review include:
- A further £55 billion to help with our response to coronavirus – including £18 billion for mass testing, Test and Trace, PPE and vaccines, and £3 billion to support NHS recovery.
- 2021 health budget growth of £6.6 billion, 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP appointments. 40 new hospitals, upgrades for 70 more and replacements for the vast majority of dated equipment.
- A commitment to rebuild 500 schools over the next decade and £375 million in funding to deliver the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee.
- £1.8 billion to maintain and improve the condition of school buildings in England.
- Increasing the core schools budget by £2.2 billion in 2021-22, delivering a minimum 2% increase per pupil.
Employment and Wages
- An increase in the National Living Wage by 2.2 per cent to £8.91, extended to those aged 23 or over, and an increase in the National Minimum Wage.
- £3 billion for a new, three-year programme to help nearly 1 million people who have been unemployed for over a year to find work.
Defence, Policing and Community Protection
- £400 million to recruit 6,000 new police officers – 20,000 more police officers by 2023.
- More than £24 billion investment in defence – the biggest sustained increase in 30 years.
- £3 billion of additional coronavirus support for local authorities (including £300 million of new social care grant funding) and an extra £254 million of funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
- £275 million for the criminal justice system, along with a four-year, £4 billion prison building programme to provide 18,000 new prison places across England and Wales.
- Capital spending of £100 billion next year in roads, rail, hospitals, schools, broadband and housing.
- A £7.1 billion National Home Building Fund, on top of our £12.2 billion Affordable Homes Programme.
- Better mobile connectivity with 4G coverage across 95 per cent of the UK by 2025.
- A new Levelling Up Fund, worth £4 billion for new and improved infrastructure in England, and £800 million in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Support for every country across the United Kingdom, increasing Scottish Government funding by £2.4 billion, Welsh Government funding by £1.3 billion, and £900 million for the Northern Ireland Executive.
There's more about the Spending Review on the Government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-review-2020-documents/spending-review-2020.