From £3Bln on ‘Skills Revolution' to £5bn on Health Research, Sunak Previews Budget Spending Pledges
12:50 GMT 24.10.2021 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 28.05.2023)
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is scheduled to appear in the House of Commons on 27 October with this year’s Autumn Budget, unveiling the government's plans for taxes, measures to support businesses and individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and spending on some longer-term objectives.
Ahead of the upcoming announcement of the nation’s Autumn budget on 27 October in the House of Commons, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a series of big-ticket spending pledges.
'Levelling Up' Transport
Interviewed on Sky News' Trevor Phillips on Sunday and appearing on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, he underscored boosted investment into public transport links in regional English cities as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's pledge to "level up" poorer parts of the country and touted efforts towards a “skills revolution”.
Thus, regarding the £7 billion pledged to improve transport links outside London, he said:
"The transport money is a combination of two things: We previously announced an overall envelope to improve how people get around our big cities. We wanted them to have same type of transport settlements that London has enjoyed."
It was revealed that the UK Treasury was allocating £5 billion towards health-related research and development over the next three years. Not stopping at that, further investment would be boosted to £2 billion per year by 2024.
© AFP 2023 / PAUL ELLISNHS signage is pictured outside the historic Winter Gardens venue in Blackpool, northwest England, on January 25, 2021 which has been converted for use as a vaccination centre
NHS signage is pictured outside the historic Winter Gardens venue in Blackpool, northwest England, on January 25, 2021 which has been converted for use as a vaccination centre
© AFP 2023 / PAUL ELLIS
Some £95 million will be funneled towards implementing cutting-edge innovations in the National Health Service (NHS), including special focus on such issues as tackling cancer, obesity and mental health.
Genome sequencing methods able to detect over 200 conditions in newborns are to be allotted their share of additional funding. COVID-19 antiviral treatment trials are to get £33 million from the Treasury.
Sunak confirmed that the government was committed to what he promised would be a "skills revolution". Rishi Sunak will announce on 27 October the Treasury’s decision to invest £1.6 billion in rolling out new T-levels for 16 to 19-year-olds over three years to 2024-25 as part of the government's job creation plans.
The investment will provide additional classroom hours for up to 100,000 young people taking T-levels - the government's new vocational qualifications, equivalent to three A-levels. The latter have been hammered out in a joint effort with the nation’s businesses to meet the needs of industry.
© AP Photo / Matt DunhamThe statue of Cecil Rhodes on the facade of Oriel College in Oxford, England.
The statue of Cecil Rhodes on the facade of Oriel College in Oxford, England.
© AP Photo / Matt Dunham
£830 million will cover the cost of a proposed five-year-strategy to modernise colleges with new equipment. Some 24,000 traineeships will also be set up, with £170 million to go to support apprenticeships and training. An extra £550 million is being set aside to fund adult skills via the Skills Fund by 2024-25.
The offer presupposes short courses and so-called "skills boot camps" in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity for adults who have no qualifications beyond a General Certificate of Secondary Education Advanced Level (GCE A Level). Furthermore, £560 million is designated to help increase numeracy by offering adult maths coaching.
"Our future economic success depends not just on the education we give to our children but the lifelong learning we offer to adults," said Sunak.
Other spending pledges include £1.4 billion in grants to encourage foreign investment into UK critical industries such as life sciences and tech. To boost foreign recruitment from “innovation hotspots”, a so called "talent network" will be set up in the Bay Area of San Francisco and Boston in the US in 2022, and Bengaluru, India.
£700 million will go towards new post-Brexit borders and the immigration system, with a new maritime patrol fleet funded. Ahead of his media appearances on Sunday, Rishi Sunak wrote in The Sun:
"I know that families here at home are feeling the pinch of higher prices… we will continue to do whatever it takes, we will continue to have your backs - just like we did during the pandemic."
He also warned there would be "challenges" ahead before public finances can be brought back "onto a strong footing".