UK Spending Review slimmed down

Chancellor to provide one-year review, not full three-year version; focus will be on three areas, including infra; due to conclude late November

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the planned Spending Review will now only cover the next 12 months, instead of the multi-year review that had initially been proposed.

Sunak said that, while the government “would have liked to outline plans for the rest of this Parliament”, it is instead focusing on its response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Sunak added that the review will focus on three areas: providing departments with the certainty they need to tackle Covid-19; enhancing support to public services as they fight the pandemic; and investing in infrastructure.

“Long term investment in our country’s future is the right thing to do, especially in areas which are the cornerstone of our society like the NHS, schools and infrastructure,” he said.

It is not yet clear whether that third strand will include the publication of the long awaited National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS), which is also expected to include the government’s response to the Infrastructure Finance Review.

In September, speaking after he had cancelled this year’s Budget because of the pandemic, Sunak told Parliament that the government would publish the NIS “this autumn”.

The one-year Spending Review will be published “in the last weeks of November”, with the precise date to be confirmed “shortly”.

Partnerships Bulletin will be hosting a one-day ‘hybrid’ event, UK Partnerships Hub, on 9 December, when delegates can tune in to hear from experts discussing the outcome of the Chancellor’s plans. For more information, click here.