Only about two weeks ago, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his annual Budget in the House of Commons.
The budget is usually an annual declaration of Government spending set by HM Treasury for the following financial year, with forecasts of the revenues to be gathered by HM Revenue and Customs and the expenditures of the public sector, in compliance with government policy.
The Budget this year took place against the backdrop of the global outbreak of COVID-19. Thankfully the UK economy remains strong and the government is well prepared to protect people’s health and support their economic security throughout this period of temporary economic disruption. The Budget sets out a plan to support public services, individuals and businesses that may be affected by COVID-19.
While the pandemic will mean the economy faces challenges, the government’s careful management of the public finances over the past decade means that it is able to support the economy in the short term, while investing in the future. The Budget announces investments in the roads, railways and digital networks that will underpin growth over the coming decade, as well as the world-class hospitals, schools, colleges and police forces that people rely on every day.
These are just some of the announcements made in the Budget:
- Delivering on our promises with £5.4billion more for the NHS and health service – writing the cheque for 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments per year.
- More money in peoples’ pockets with an over £200 tax cut for the typical family.
- Increasing the National Living Wage to boost the wages of the lowest paid.
- Freezing fuel duty for a tenth year in a row to help with the cost of living.
- Reducing reassessments for Personal Independence Payment to avoid unnecessary anxiety.
- Cutting taxes for businesses to allow them to invest and focus on growing their business.
- Encouraging more businesses to employ military veterans.
- Increasing public Research &Development investment to £22 billion per year by 2024-25.
- Helping people to make the transition to cleaner, greener cars.
- Investing £304million to enable councils to improve air quality.
- Announcing a Nature for Climate Fund which will invest £640 million in tree-planting and other causes.
- Creating a new £1 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings so residents feel safe and secure.
- Speeding up and improving the planning system to unlock land for the homes people need.
- Investing record amounts – triple the average over the last 40 years – to build the railways and roads of the future. A total of £640 billion of capital investment will be invested.
- Giving the green light to new strategic road schemes helping everyone get around.
- Delivering £2.5 billion to fill millions of potholes over the next five years–speeding up journeys, reducing vehicle damage and making our roads safer.
- Increasing funding for counter-terrorism and our intelligence community to keep people safe.
With the exception of newly announced measures to fight COVID-19, all spending plans for the budget fit within existing fiscal rules of responsibility.
It was a budget that delivered on our promises in the 2019 General Election, that safeguards the future of our Union, supports those at risk from COVID-19, and continues the process of levelling-up our nation.
Information on measures the Chancellor took in the budget to support businesses and jobs in the fight against COVID-19 be found here:
Further details on the Budget itself and more spending commitments can be found here: