Sajid Javid’s fast-tracked spending review pledges a "new economic era"

Sajid Javid’s fast-tracked spending review pledges a

Sajid Javid’s fast-tracked spending review pledges a "new economic era"

The Chancellor has pledged to give the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government £241m from the Towns Fund, as part of the Spending Review to support regeneration.

"Britain's hard work has paid off", the chancellor told the Commons, "Every single government department has had its budget for day-to-day spending increased at least in line with inflation".

He said: "We are turning the page on austerity and beginning a new decade of renewal".

Although there was no mention of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is due to replace European Union regeneration funds after Brexit, Mr Javid confirmed that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's latest financial settlement from the Treasury includes a total of £241m from the Towns Fund in 2020-21 to support the "regeneration of high streets, town centres and local economies".

James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "We are delighted that today's spending round has delivered a funding package of more than £3.5 billion for our vital local services next year".

It said Britain's weak economy and a recent rise in public borrowing meant Javid, despite his claim, was already probably in breach of the rule that government borrowing should be less than 2% of economic output in the 2020/21 financial year.

He said: "While it's true that local government has seen its biggest spending increase in a decade, the chancellor should not expect too many plaudits from councils across the country".

The chancellor also announced an extra £6.2 billion for the NHS and another £210 million for NHS staff training and development.

It includes £750 million to fund the first year of plans to recruit 20,000 new police officers, with £45 million to start an immediate recruitment push to put 2,000 officers in place by March.

Moreover, an additional £2.6 billion was pledged for schools - a 3.3 per cent real terms increase on a year ago - and £200 million to "transform" bus services.

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"This year is the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings", Mr Javid said.

The Confederation of British Industry, the UK's biggest business organisation, has urged the Treasury to invest in worker skills and training, boost infrastructure and focus on lowering carbon emissions for businesses.

The Government will also provide an additional £700 million to support children with special educational needs next year, as well as £400 million more for further education.

Around £90 million for 1,000 diplomats and overseas staff and upgraded missions to help "seize the opportunities of Brexit" around the world.

But aides admitted the spending plans are not based on fresh economic forecasts so the amount of "fiscal headroom" available may change.

He added: "We won't be able to afford everything and we'll need to prioritise investment in policies that deliver real productivity gains and boost economic growth in the long-term", he said.

He has a bit of room to increase borrowing to fund his planned spending increases because Britain has cut its budget deficit from nearly 10 per cent of gross domestic product in 2010 to just over 1 per cent now.

Opposition spokesman John McDonnell, who could soon take Javid's job as finance minister if Labour wins any early election, said the announcement was a sham.

The Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, said Javid had effectively binned Britain's fiscal rules as well as austerity, "bringing down the curtain on the era of public spending constraint in spectacular fashion".

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