Chancellor Rishi Sunak to set out one-year Spending Review in bid to tackle COVID crisis

·2-min read

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out the government's one-year spending plans next month as he seeks to tackle the economic crisis caused by coronavirus.

The Treasury has announced a 2021-22 Spending Review will be published on 25 November, as the government prioritises its response to COVID-19 and strives to protect jobs.

The government had previously confirmed it was scrapping a proposed multi-year spending review after those plans were thrown off course by the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Sunak said: "In the current environment it's essential that we provide certainty.

"So we'll be doing that for departments and all of the nations of the UK by setting budgets for next year, with a total focus on tackling COVID and delivering our 'Plan for Jobs'.

"Long-term investment in our country's future is the right thing to do, especially in areas which are the cornerstone of our society like the NHS, schools and infrastructure.

"We'll make sure these areas crucial to our economic recovery have their budgets set for further years so they can plan and help us build back better."

Earlier this week, Downing Street hinted that the chancellor could use next month's spending review to announce extra money to help feed struggling families over Christmas.

Ministers are under pressure to respond to a high-profile campaign by England footballer Marcus Rashford to expand free school meals and to provide meals during all school holidays for those in need.

Number 10 pointed reporters to comments from Health Secretary Matt Hancock that "the spending review sets out any future funding on behalf of the government".

Next month's spending review will be accompanied by an economic forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The spending review will set government departments' resource and capital budgets for 2021-22, and the devolved administrations' block grants for the same period.

Funding for the NHS and schools will remain multi-year, along with priority infrastructure projects.