Today, Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Chancellor’s Spending Review that has focused on tackling some of the key issues that constituents across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent contact her about.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced his landmark Spending Review which not only prioritises people’s health and jobs in the wake of the pandemic, but looks to build and strengthen public services across the country – from schools and hospitals, to police funding and infrastructure.
The Review comes at a critical time when the OBR have forecasted that the economy will contract this year by 11.3 per cent – the largest fall in output for more than 300 years. While the IMF, OBR and Bank of England have all praised the UK’s response to COVID-19, it is clear that there will be long-term scarring of the economy that needs to be addressed.
The Treasury’s first priority remains protecting the country’s health and jobs. Already, £280 billion has been provided to help the country cope with the pandemic. On top of this, £18 billion will be given for testing, vaccinations, PPE and NHS Test and Trace. £3 billion will help the NHS tackle a backlog of cases, provide support for mental health services and relieve existing pressures. Billions for local authorities, transport provides and rough sleeping will also protect communities and keep the country running.
To support jobs, a £2.9 billion Restart programme will help those who have been unemployed for over a year and the National Living Wage will increase by 2.2%. Those in the public sector who earn below the median UK wage will receive a guaranteed pay rise and over 1 million nurses, doctors and NHS workers will also receive a salary increase.
But most importantly, the Chancellor not only focused on the recovery from COVID-19. Total capital spending will be £100 billion next year, from a £7.1 billion National Home Building Fund to £100 million infrastructure investment in everything from broadband, new cycle lanes and roads, upgraded railways and zero-emission buses.
Departmental spending will be £540 billion, funding 40 new hospitals and 70 hospital upgrades, providing £2.2 billion to schools and £1 billion for the criminal justice system. The South East alone will receive £5.9 billion in per-pupil funding and £95 million for road improvements. The streets will be safer as £400 million will go towards funding new police officers – Hampshire has already welcomed 91 new officers this autumn.
“The Spending Review allows us to take stock of where we are and focus on our priorities for the future.
“I am pleased that the Chancellor has not only addressed the needs of our country following the pandemic, but also ensured that we do not shelve issues that I know are of great importance to my constituents. For residents across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent this means more funding for schools, our NHS, infrastructure and community.
“Today’s announcements will not only help us build back better, but also bring real, tangible change.”