From education to employment

Education infrastructure is expected to feature heavily in this week’s spending review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

#SpendingReview from @RishiSunak – The Government is expected to deliver on its commitment to ensure that the UK’s world class public services have the support that they need at the Spending Review for next year (2021/22).

On Wednesday (25 Nov), Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reaffirm his commitment to existing pledges on police, nurses and schools by allocating funding to continue with their delivery. 

The Government will also reaffirm its commitment to ensure our children receive an outstanding education by increasing spending on schools by £2.2bn, from £47.6bn this year to £49.8bn in 2021-22.

Education infrastructure is also expected to feature heavily, with £1.5bn to continue the government’s commitment to improve the FE college estate to bring it to a good condition, and a transformative ten-year school rebuilding programme approving 50 new school rebuilding projects a year.

A multi million pound package of new funding to support mental health services is also expected to be announced by the Chancellor, to will deliver new specialist services for children and young people, extra support for those with severe mental illness, and faster access to psychological support for depression and anxiety. 

In addition to resource budgets that deliver on commitments next year, the SR will also provide multi-year capital budgets to level-up across the UK and make sure areas crucial to our economic recovery have their budgets set for further years so we can Build Back Better following the pandemic. 

This will include investment in infrastructure that supports world-class public services like schools and hospitals that people rely on every day.

Rishi Sunak is expected to reaffirm his commitment to fund existing pledges, such the hiring of 50,000 new nurses and the delivery of 50m additional GP appointments.  

There will also be additional funding to deliver on the next phase of our promise to make our streets safer by recruiting 20,000 new police officers by 2023. This funding is on top of the £750m provided at last year’s Spending Round to hire the first 6,000 additional officers.

The SR will confirm the £3.7bn funding package for the long-term investment in 40 hospitals to ensure the NHS can continue to provide world-class care right across the country in the years to come. 

Modern prison places are also expected to feature, with £4bn locked in to build more than 18,000 additional prison places across England and Wales over the next 4 years. 

Rishi Sunak 100x100The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“This has been a tough year for us all. But we won’t let it get in the way of delivering on our promises- the British people deserve outstanding public services, and we remain committed to delivering their priorities as we put our public services at the heart of our economic renewal.”

“We are absolutely committed to levelling-up opportunities so those living in all corners of the UK get their fair share of our future prosperity.

“All nations and regions of the UK have benefited from our unprecedented £200 billion Covid support package.

“And after a difficult year for this country, this Spending Review will help us build back better by investing over £600 billion across the UK during the next five years.”

An IFS spokesperson said: 

“This year’s Spending Review will not be the comprehensive, multi-year review we were originally promised, but will still contain a raft of important announcements.

“The Chancellor has big decisions to make – on funding for public services, the role of government investment in the economic recovery, the future of targets on defence and aid spending, and much else besides. The Office for Budget Responsibility will also publish a new set of forecasts for the economy and public finances, which will set the scene for economic and fiscal policy for the rest of this Parliament.

“IFS researchers will present their initial analysis of the Chancellor’s announcements at an online briefing the following day, (26 Nov).”

Why it matters: How your money will be spent in the Spending Review 

The Spending Review sets out how much money will be spent on things like the NHS, schools and police. It also sets out what will be spent on the most important issues facing the country, like tackling Covid-19 and creating jobs.

As part of the process, the Treasury agrees with each government department how much money they’ll get and what they’ll do with it. 

Discussions over the Spending Review usually take place over several months between the Treasury, other departments and government ministers.

Why now?

Depending on the circumstance, Spending Reviews usually take place every one to five years, and set the government’s budget for up to five years.

This year, the Chancellor and Prime Minister have decided that responding to Covid-19 and protecting jobs should take priority, so the Spending Review will be for one year.

This means that government departments and businesses know exactly what our country’s shared focus is for the year ahead.


What will the money be spent on?

The Spending Review covers the spending of all government departments, from day to day tasks like paying teachers, or hiring more nurses and police officers, through to bigger projects like upgrading roads.

The Chancellor will announce exactly who will get what on Wednesday, but there are a few areas that are sure to receive funding, including the NHS, schools, armed forces and infrastructure (e.g. buildings and technology). You can expect to see extra money going to tackle other vital issues too.

The Spending Review will also set out how much money our devolved administrations will get in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The areas covered in the Spending Review make up about half of all government spending.

Not covered in the Spending Review are less predictable types of spending, such as student loans. Tax changes are also not covered, as these are made at Budgets.

Where does the money come from? As the Chancellor said in October, the government’s money is the taxpayer’s money.

Mental health to receive funding boost at Spending Review as government launches new Winter Plan for Mental Health

Rishi Sunak expected to announce hundreds of millions of new funding, for mental health in 2021/22.

The money will further expand services across the UK in response to the impact the pandemic has had on mental health.

In response to the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on mental health, Rishi Sunak will vow to make rapid progress on tackling the backlog of adult mental health referrals and ensure children and young people can access the help they need – delivering on the government’s commitment to transforming and improving mental health services.

The vast majority of the £500m package will be spent on funding for new specialist services for children and young people – including in schools, extra support for people with severe mental illness, faster access to psychological support for conditions such as depression and anxiety, and support for NHS workers. 

Mental ill health costs the economy up to £35 billion a year with demand for services increasing during the pandemic. This package responds to these extra needs. 

Local areas will also benefit from £1.2m for a new service to allow them to access real-time suicide data to better target prevention efforts, and the Spending Review recommits to government’s pledge to eradicate outdated mental health dormitories, as well as increased investment in the mental health workforce. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“The pandemic has had a major impact on mental health because of increased isolation and uncertainty.

“So it is vital we do everything we can to support our mental health services and ensure help is there for people. 

“This funding will make sure those who need help get the right support as quickly as possible so they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

Ahead of next week’s spending review, the government is also announcing a Winter Mental Health Plan, to protect mental health over the coming winter months.

Better, Faster, Greener: A Spending Review To Level-Up Opportunities Across The UK

All regions and nations stand to benefit from investment as the government continues its mission to level-up the UK, spread opportunity and create jobs to drive the UK’s recovery from the Covid pandemic. 

The Chancellor is expected to unveil new investment in the regions to help level-up the Department for Education level up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reaffirm his commitment to levelling-up by delivering a Spending Review with tens of billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure. This will include over £1.6 billion for local roads in 2021-22 to tackle potholes, congestion pinch-points and other upgrades. This is part of the government’s commitment to invest more than £600 billion over the next five years.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

At the Spending Review, the government will also publish the terms for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will target funding at left-behind places and people in need, including towns, coastal communities and former industrial heartlands. This will include £220 million next year for local areas to pilot programmes well before investment from EU Structural Funds starts to tail off across nations.

National Infrastructure Strategy

Alongside the Spending Review, the government will publish its National Infrastructure Strategy setting out long-term ambitions to deliver on levelling up and Net Zero through targeted investments in transport, digital infrastructure, housing, energy and going green.

The National Infrastructure Strategy will make a massive down-payment on a number of flagship infrastructure programmes, including fibre broadband, flood defences and key transport schemes. This builds on the £8.6 billion package that the government brought forward in the summer on decarbonisation, infrastructure and maintenance projects. This strategy will include continued work as part of Project Speed to deliver infrastructure projects, better, faster and greener.

Changes to the Green Book

The Treasury will also unveil refreshed Green Book guidance to Whitehall that will better link projects and programmes to government objectives, including on levelling up and Net Zero, and for the first time will require the consideration of regional impacts that policies have on places.

Changes to the Green Book will support levelling up by ensuring that projects are being assessed first and foremost on how well they deliver policy objectives rather than focusing on a purely economic assessment that doesn’t consider who benefits. And for the first time, business cases for all proposals will have to set out how they will impact different places, aligning with relevant local strategies and major interventions in the area.

Treasury to set up Northern headquarters

To ensure that government policies that have the most impact on levelling-up are created by those living in communities outside of London and the South East, the Treasury will set up its Northern headquarters next year and will announce the location in the coming weeks. This is part of a wider work that will see thousands of civil servants move to the regions and nations of the UK.

The government is committed to relocating 22,000 roles out of London and the South East by 2030 and will make progress against this target in the next financial year through investment in the Government Hubs and departmental relocation programmes.

The Public Value Framework, which ensures public money is spent in the best possible way, will ensure Whitehall delivers on the priority to level-up by agreeing the following priority outcomes for departments:

  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government raise productivity and empower places through devolution so everyone can benefit from levelling up;
  • The Department for Education level up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need;
  • The Department for Transport improve connectivity across the United Kingdom and help grow the economy in the regions by enhancing the transport network so it delivers a service that is on time and on budget; and
  • The Department for International Trade deliver increased economic growth to all the nations and regions of the UK through attracting and retaining inward investment.

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