Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed the government’s spending plan to help the economy and to recover from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Sunak began his speech by stating that the health emergency is not yet over, and that the economic emergency “has only just begun”.
He explained that the immediate priority is to “protect people’s lives and livelihoods”, and that the Spending Review 2020 is set to deliver “stronger public services”.
Pay rise for NHS doctors and nurses
Sunak said: “Taking into account the pay review bodies’ advice, we will provide a pay rise to over a million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS.”
He followed up this announcement by stating that, in order to protect jobs, “pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year”.
“We will protect those on lower incomes,” Sunak continued. “The 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000 will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250.”
Sunak explained that while public sector pay will be controlled by the government, the majority of public sector workers will “see their pay increase next year”.
Funding to tackle Covid-19
During his speech, Sunak laid out the funding that the government is making available to different sectors in order to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “This year, we are providing £280 billion to get our country through coronavirus.
“Next year, to fund our programmes on testing, PPE, vaccines - we are allocating an initial £18 billion.”
In order to support the public services affected most by Covid-19, Sunak said that the following would be provided:
£3 billion to support NHS recovery, allowing them to carry out up to a million checks, scans and operationsOver £2 billion to keep transport arteries open, subsidising rail networksOver £3 billion to local councilsAn extra £250 million to help end rough sleeping£2.6 billion to support devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
“Taken together, next year, public services funding to tackle coronavirus will total £55 billion,” Sunak said.