Chloe Shakesby

Chancellor announces plans for 2021: Further £55bn to be spent on Covid efforts

The government has this afternoon announced its spending plans for 2021 in the annual spending review.

The key points set out by the Chancellor in today’s review include:

  • Minimum wage will rise by 2.2 per cent to £8.91 per hour.
  • Unemployment is set to rise by 7.5 per cent, to 2.6 million people, in 2021.
  • More than a million NHS workers will be given a pay rise next year.
  • Long-term investment in the NHS will rise by £2.3bn.
  • Foreign aid will be cut from 0.7 per cent of national income to 0.5 per cent.
  • A new UK infrastructure bank, in the North of England, will finance infrastructure projects from next Spring.
  • A new Levelling Up Fund will see £4bn allocated to local projects.

Total spending on coronavirus so far has been £280bn, with a further £55bn set to be spent next year.

The economy is set to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year, which is the largest fall in 300 years, with economic output not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s Spending Review delivers on the priorities of the British people.

“Our health emergency is not yet over, and the economic emergency has only just begun; so our immediate priority is to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.

“But today’s Spending Review also delivers stronger public services - paying for new hospitals, better schools and safer streets.

“And it delivers a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure. Creating jobs, growing the economy, and increasing pride in the places people call home.”

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