Is this a sustainable first step away from austerity?

By Andrew Burns | 11 September 2019

We in the public sector had been waiting for this Spending Round for a while, and the increase in resources was not unexpected. After years of austerity, this was a welcome first step. The Government declared an ‘end to austerity’ and several Whitehall departments received significant funding boosts.

Funding pledges for the so-called ‘people’s priorities’ of policing, health and social care, education, homelessness and transport were announced. It’s clear that positive benefits for public services came out of the Chancellor’s speech. However, there are also very real concerns associated with this one-year Spending Round, most notably the absence of the latest Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) fiscal forecasts and the economic uncertainty linked to the UK’s departure from the EU.

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