Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils spending plan for coronavirus recovery
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the government's spending plan to boost the economy and to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sunak said that the UK’s "economic emergency has only just begun” and that the Government was providing £280 billion this year to get the country through the coronavirus crisis as he set out his Spending Review in the House of Commons.
He said we are in an 'economic emergency' and that calls for emergency measures to protect jobs and support incomes this year before driving the recovery next year.
The Office for Budget Responsibility is forecasting the economy will contract this year by 11.3% and that the damage of the pandemic will be "lasting", the Chancellor said.
The Chancellor said NHS doctors and nurses will receive a pay rise, but pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be “paused” next year.
He told MPs: “Taking account of the pay review bodies’ advice, we will provide a pay rise to over a million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS.
“Second, to protect jobs, pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year. But third, we will protect those on lower incomes. 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 said the Government is providing £280 billion to “get our country through coronavirus”.
He said: “Next year, to fund our programmes on testing, personal protective equipment and vaccines, we are allocating an initial £18 billion.”
The Chancellor said £3 billion would be provided to support NHS recovery – allowing them to carry out up to one million checks, scans, and operations – while more than £2 billion will be spent on transport, with funding to subsidise rail networks.
He added: “And while much of our coronavirus response is UK-wide, the Government is also providing £2.6 billion to support the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Taken together, next year, public services funding to tackle coronavirus will total £55 billion.”