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Treasury reaffirms billions in funding for stretched UK public services

Suban Abdulla
·3-min read
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak reacts during a media interview after arriving at the BBC in central London on November 22, 2020, to take appear on the BBC political programme The Andrew Marr Show. - Britain's debt is now at its highest level since 1961 as a share of GDP, after the government embarked on a massive spending spree to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sunak will unveil in the House of Commons new investment to help “level-up” the UK economy and create jobs to drive the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, on Wednesday. Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP via Getty Images

The government has confirmed it will deliver on its commitment to ensure that the UK’s public services have the support they need at Wednesday’s spending review.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reiterate his commitment to existing pledges on police, nurses and schools by allocating funding, to continue with their delivery in 2021.

Pledges include hiring of 50,000 new nurses and the delivery of 50 million additional GP appointments.

Sunak, said that the government wont let this “tough year get in the way of delivering” on their 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,” he added.

Additional funding is also expected to be announced to complete the next phase of the government’s pledge to recruit 20,000 new police officers by 2023. The latest funding is on top of the £750m ($996m) provided at last year’s spending round to hire the first 6,000 additional officers.

Spending on schools is expected to be increased by £2.2bn, from £47.6bn in 2020 to £49.8bn in 2021 to 2022.

Pledges have also been made to improve further education establishments, with a £1.5bn commitment. The government is also proposing a “transformative” ten-year school rebuilding programme approving 50 new school rebuilding projects a year.

Additionally, 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.

On Sunday, the chancellor told Sky News that his priority in the one-year spending plan was to combat the health economic crises.

“You will not see austerity next week,” he said.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak set to plough billions into the north to 'level up' economy

Sunak will unveil in the House of Commons new investment to help “level-up” the UK economy and create jobs to drive the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, on Wednesday.

Alongside the spending review, the government will publish its new national infrastructure strategy next week, setting out long-term ambitions on delivering an infrastructure revolution across the UK.

As part of its Build Back Better plan, the Treasury will also provide multi-year capital budgets to make sure regions crucial to economic recovery have funds after the pandemic.

It comes after the Treasury announced it would inject £3bn into the NHS to help the health service deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury said the £3bn package for the NHS would help tackle backlogs in the health service, with thousands of treatments and operations delayed because of the pandemic.

Of the £3bn, £500m will be spent on supporting mental health services in England. £1bn will go towards educing NHS backlogs, with up to one million extra checks, scans and operations paid for — £1.5bn will be used to ease existing pressures in the health service.

Watch: How can Rishi Sunak plug the hole in public finances?