National and Devolved Politics

09.08.19

Chancellor announces fast-tracked spending review ahead of Brexit

Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced a fast-tracked one-tear Spending Round to allow government departments to focus on delivering Brexit on 31 October.

Javid said the spending round for 2020-21 will provide “financial certainty” and “clear the ground ahead of Brexit while delivering on people’s priorities.”

The Treasury will carry out the accelerated exercise in September, and a full multi-year Spending Review will now be held in 2020.

The government said the fast-tracked Spending Round will support commitments made by Boris Johnson since he came into office such as recruiting 20,000 extra police officers, funding for the NHS and for schools.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak, said: “This Spending Round will give financial certainty to departments’ plans for next year.

“We will invest in the priority areas of schools and policing, while delivering our promises on the NHS, defence and Official Development Assistance (ODA).”

Spending reviews are carried out typically every two to three years to fix firm expenditure limits, set departmental budgets and also ensure borrowing is kept under control.

Chancellor of the exchequer, Javid, commented: “We will get Brexit done by October 31 and put our country on the road to a brighter future.

“The Prime Minister and I have asked for a fast-tracked Spending Round for September to set departmental budgets for next year.

“This will clear the ground ahead of Brexit while delivering on people’s priorities.”

James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association said: “Councils urgently need some certainty about how local services will be funded next year as they begin their budget-setting process, so we are pleased that the announced Spending Round will be completed in September.

“Vital local services provided by councils face a funding gap of more than £5bnnext year, rising to £8bn by 2025.

“The Spending Round needs to make securing the sustainability of local services the top priority. It needs to confirm the continuation of key funding streams such as the Better Care Fund, and guarantee councils will have enough money to meet the growing demand pressures they face next year.”

Image credit - Davis Mirzoeff/PA Wire/PA Images

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