Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review: Live updates and reaction from Wales as Chancellor sets out plans for 2021


Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out spending plans for 2021 this afternoon (November 25) as the economy continues to suffer the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is anticipated that his announcements on funding for health and any public sector pay pay freeze will have huge implications for the Welsh Government over the coming year.

He is due to make his announcement around 12.30pm after the Prime Minister’s Questions. You can follow along here for live updates.

Ahead of the Commons statement, Mr Sunak is pledging to make jobs his “number one priority”.

He is expected to announce the launch of a three-year Restart programme, worth £2.9 billion, which will help more than a million unemployed people get back into work.

He said: “My number one priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK.

“This Spending Review will ensure hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported and protected in the acute phase of this crisis and beyond with a multibillion package of investment to ensure that no-one is left without hope or opportunity.”

The Chancellor has insisted he is not planning a return to “austerity” and would continue to support the economy as it sought to recover from the pandemic.

As well as the Restart programme, there will be £1.4 billion promised to increase the capacity of Jobcentre Plus and a £375 million skills package.

Other commitments are expected to include £3 billion more to support the NHS, including £1 billion to address the treatment backlogs built up while it was dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

There will also be measures to support Boris Johnson’s “levelling-up” agenda with the publication of the National Infrastructure Strategy and investment across the UK’s regions and nations, including £1.6 billion for local roads.

But the Chancellor will also take the first steps towards rebuilding the public finances with a new round of public sector pay restraint.

Wages for more than four million workers are expected to be capped or frozen altogether, with only front line NHS doctors and nurses expected to be exempt. He is also reportedly planning to scrap a planned 5% increase in the national living wage.

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