Spending Review 2015 explained

On Wednesday the 25th November 2015, the government announced the details of its spending and autumn statement in a combined statement to parliament. It is the third major economic statement this year following the budget in March and the post election summer budget in July.

The spending review looks at the budgets of all the government departments and is intended to show a five-year view of the governments spending plans. The review shows how £4 trillion of taxpayers’ money will be spent by setting the maximum amounts that different departments can spend. The last spending review was in 2013.

George Osborne announced in his first autumn statement as the Chancellor of a conservative government that he was no longer going forward with the plans to cut working tax credits; this had been one of the most controversial topics prior to the spending review and the original plans for tax credit cuts would have seen families with a “lower income” worse off and those falling within a “middle earning” income better off.

Mr Osborne also announced that the NHS budget was to rise from £101 billion to £120 billion by 2020-01 this will fund 800,000 more treatments and operations, 5.5 million more outpatient appointments and 2 million more diagnostic tests. The increased budget should also make appointments with GP’s easier to get with access to GP services in evenings and weekends. These changes have been made in an effort by the government to make access to healthcare and support more widely available throughout the UK for individuals.

The conservative government are set to double the housing budget to £2 billion per annum in order to provide 400,000 new homes by the end of the decade; this is the largest house building programme since the 1970’s and is aimed to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder.

The spending review also sees that policing, health, international aid and defence budgets are protected which will help to secure the jobs of thousands of public sector workers.

George Osborne’s stated his plans to secure a £10.1 billion budget surplus by 2020 and balance all of the books, is to be done by reducing borrowing over the forthcoming years. The borrowing forecast is to total £73.5 billion this year, falling to £49.9 billion, £24.8 billion and £4.6 billion in subsequent years before hitting surplus in 2020.

Article by Jade Mountney