Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 3rd September 2019
Chancellor, Sajid Javid’s, moment in the spotlight has been largely overshadowed by the continuing Brexit upheaval which shows no signs of stabilising. However, with Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, promising the “most ambitious spending round for more than a decade”, all eyes were on Javid this afternoon as he took to the podium to deliver the 2019 Spending Review.
The Spending Review traditionally focusses on allocating departmental budgets, with announcements regarding changes to taxation typically reserved for the Budget which will take place on an as-yet-unconfirmed date later this year.
However, with the prospect of a snap general election growing increasingly likely, this was a chance for the Tories to outline their proposed spending policies before their election campaign kicks off in earnest, with Javid seemingly keen to entice voters by putting forward a number of crowd-pleasing pledges within the Review. In fact Javid’s Review was later criticised by Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, who dismissed it as an act of “grubby electioneering”.
This Spending Review will only cover one year, rather the three which has been typical of previous announcements, indicative of the current uncertain political landscape. Despite this, he promised total spending would rise by £30.4bn next year thanks to a number of significant financial pledges aimed at bolstering key public service areas. Financial boosts for schools, hospital, and the police force were announced in an effort to reverse the austerity cuts of the past decade, and Javid also confirmed that no department would see cuts to their budget.