Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
In response to yesterday's Spending Review announced by Chancellor Sajid Javid, Don Peebles, Head of CIPFA Policy & Technical UK, said:
“As expected, the government used the Spending Review to deliver a significant short-term funding boost for public services and the ‘people’s priorities’ of schools, health and social care and policing. This announcement is certainly a welcome first step, but appears to represent a substantial increase in government borrowing and does little to put funding for public services on a sustainable footing for the long term.
“The £15bn of fiscal headroom that was earmarked in the spring as a three-year Brexit contingency fund is effectively being spent in a one-year spending round, ahead of a likely general election.
“This review has been announced without the OBR’s fiscal forecasts and commentary, making it difficult to evaluate these spending commitments within a proper fiscal context and with outdated economic forecasts. As the possibility of a no-deal Brexit persists, the UK is approaching a potential economic cliff edge, and the public sector will be taking on higher debt without knowing the real costs of the UK’s departure from the EU.”