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Sat, 4 April 2020

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Sajid Javid vows schools and NHS spending boost as election speculation mounts

Sajid Javid vows schools and NHS spending boost as election speculation mounts
3 min read

Sajid Javid has confirmed that schools, hospitals and the police will all be given a major cash boost in next week's spending review - heightening speculation that a snap election is on the way.

The Treasury confirmed that the mini-Budget will take place on 4 September, the day after MPs return to Westminster following the summer recess.

Mr Javid insisted there would be no "blank cheques" for Whitehall departments and vowed to stick to the “fiscal rules” followed by his predecessors over the last decade as they grappled with the deficit.

In an article for The Telegraph, the Chancellor said: "Thanks to the hard work of the British people over the last decade, we can afford to spend more on the people’s priorities, without breaking the rules around what the Government should spend, and we’ll do that in a few key areas like schools, hospitals and police.

“But at the same time, it’s vital that we continue to live within our means as a country. Unlike the Labour Party, we don’t believe in just throwing money at a problem.

“And especially at a time when the global economy is slowing, it’s important that we don’t let our public finances get out of control.

“So I can confirm that next week’s Spending Round will be delivered within the current fiscal rules.

“As every household knows, that will mean making choices and prioritising where we focus spending, and any departments expecting a blank cheque will be sorely disappointed.”

Mr Javid, who cancelled a major speech planned for Wednesday morning to bring forward the spending review, added: "Health and education aren't just the names of departments - they're lifelines of opportunity, just as they were for me.

"The teachers who persuaded me that I had what it takes to study economics and put me on the path to becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.

"The police officers who kept us safe when the street I grew up on became a centre for drug dealers.

"The NHS that cared for my dad in his final days. These aren't just numbers on a spreadsheet. They're the beating heart of our country."

Speculation is mounting that a snap election could take place within weeks as Boris Johnson seeks to meet his commitment of taking the UK out of the EU "do or die" on 31 October.

Next week's spending review will allow the Chancellor to unveil a series of eye-catching spending pledges which could form the basis of a Conservative election campaign.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “Nobody is fooled into believing that this is a proper and normal Spending Review. It's a one off pre-election panic driven stunt budget.

“As each spending announcement is dribbled out it is exposed as inadequate and whole areas of spending needs like local councils and addressing child poverty are ignored. This is not serious government.”

Read the most recent article written by Nicholas Mairs - Public sector workers to get 5% pay rise from April if Labour wins election


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