UK treasury minister, Richie Sunak, has laid out government spending pans.
Sunak stated that long-term spending on infrastructure will total £100bn, a £27bn real-terms rise from last year, adding this is the "highest sustained levels of public investment in more than 40 years."
Other points were:
- Foreign aid will reduce from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5%.
- National living wage to rise 2.2% to £8.96%.
- £24bn for defence over the next 4 years (already announced by the Prime Minister).
- An increase of funding for the Scottish Government of £2.4bn, Welsh Government funding of £1.3bn, and £900,000 for the Northern Ireland Executive.
- Pay rise for NHS workers but a 12 month freeze on wages of other public sector workers.
- A new UK infrastructure bank, to be headquartered in the north of England.
Whilst the Chancellor's statement is positive and upbeat, the challenges to the economy are significant. Unemployment is expected to rise by 7.5% to 2.6 million by the middle of 2021 (end of quarter two) and the forecast for UK borrowing this year is £394bn this year - equivalent to 19% of GDP, the highest recorded level of borrowing in our peacetime history.