CIPFA Comment: the spring budget


In response to the chancellor's Spring Budget, Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:

“The chancellor’s aim with this budget was to steady the ship and keep the economy on the straight and narrow. Any major public services spending announcements were kept firmly out of his red box, perhaps saved for next year’s election campaign instead. This year, he just tinkered around the edges.

“Levelling up has life in it yet, with the announcement of investment zones mapped to the government’s agenda on innovation and net zero. If the intention is to lift economic growth and productivity, a clearer plan to connect these strategies with those areas outside the funded zones will be needed. We also need a strong evaluation framework to ensure money is being spent effectively and outcomes are successful.

“The chancellor wants to get the over 50’s back into work, but changes to pensions and return to work schemes might not on their own solve the problem. Eighteen per cent of over 50’s who have left work since March 2020 are currently on an NHS waiting list. Long-term investment to tackle the pressures in our health and care services is urgently needed. People simply can’t work if they’re sick.

“What was very welcome was a change of direction on local authority funding. Multiyear settlements for combined authorities will allow them to plan with greater certainty, and we would like to see this rolled out to all local authorities, bringing the short-term begging culture to an end once and for all."

Notes to editor:

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