Sajid Javid ‘turning the page on austerity’ as election looms

Sajid Javid ‘turning the page on austerity’ as election looms”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will receive a 4.1% real-terms increase to its budget in 2020-21, the chancellor of the exchequer announced today in the government's spending round, which also includes funding meant to drive cultural participation.

Mr Javid also today unveiled a significant funding boost to defence, going beyond the two per cent year-on-year target set by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with £2.2 billion extra for the armed services.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid is set to commit a further £2bn in public spending to fund Brexit preparations, but risks accusations of losing control of the public purse strings.

He has some room to increase borrowing to fund his spending because Britain has steadily cut its budget deficit from nearly 10% of gross domestic product in 2010 to just over 1% now. "This party has never shied away from the hard decisions to live within our means".

Peterborough City Council has seen its government funding slashed and will have to make savings of around £25 million in next year's budget.

"Every single government department has had its budget for day-to-day spending increased at least in line with inflation".

The chancellor's spending review has merely placed a promissory note before the construction industry which must now await the outcome of events to find out whether it is worth anything or not, says Julian Francis.

The next spending review will be carried out in 2020 and further reviews on the government's fiscal framework will be set out in the Autumn Budget.

As political uncertainty continues to plague the United Kingdom ahead of the Brexit due date, the chancellor stressed the importance of focusing on "meeting the economic priorities of today, not a decade ago", he said in his speech to Parliament on Wednesday.

The chancellor said that, as he announced "spending plans for Britain's first year outside the European Union" the government is " turning the page on austerity and beginning a new decade of renewal".

- £90 million for 1,000 diplomats and overseas staff and upgraded missions to help "seize the opportunities of Brexit" around the world.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been asked to develop proposals for a new Youth Investment Fund to get young people off the streets through improved and new youth centres. This represents a rise of 6.3% from £46.2bn past year to £49.1bn in 2020-21.

In his statement, Javid commended the Treasury civil servants for delivering "the fastest Spending Round in history".

However, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell branded the spending spree as "a compendium of grubby electioneering" and said the Government was "pretending to end austerity when they do nothing of the sort".

"To come here and to try and fool us with references to people's priorities is beyond irony", McDonnell said.

Also responding to the chancellor, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The money being promised by the chancellor is like sticking a plaster over a gaping wound".

"This is particularly highlighted by the office closure programme in HMRC where we are losing high levels of expertise at a time when we need investment to deal with any exit from the EU".

"It demonstrates that ministers are listening to our pleas for more money to meet a rising demand for services and that the lobbying we have done behind the scenes is paying off".

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