BRITAIN’s finance minister Rishi Sunak will deliver his spending review to parliament on Wednesday(25) which is expected to support the pandemic-ravaged economy and the nation’s post-Brexit future,
Sunak will reveal the outcome of his review that will set state departmental resource and capital budgets for 2021-2022.
Though he ruled out cuts to public services amid soaring borrowing, Sunak last week warned that the economy was under “enormous strain” because of Covid-19. He has refused to say whether he will impose a public sector pay freeze.
Sunak is expected to reveal details of a vast £100-billion infrastructure investment plan to modernise the UK transport network and help combat climate change.
The government has already spent billions so far this year on battling economic fallout from the virus, subsidising private-sector jobs, and boosting the state-run National Health Service (NHS).
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) watchdog will publish its latest economic growth forecasts, detailing the fallout from the pandemic.
The watchdog will also examine the impact of England’s latest virus restrictions that have sparked widespread concerns of a so-called double dip recession before an expected recovery in 2021.
The OBR may reveal an explosion in public borrowing which could reach almost £400 billion for the current financial year, as public debt exceeds £2 trillion.
Last week, the Treasury unveiled another £3bn to support the NHS in tackling the impact of coronavirus.
Britain has been one of the worst-affected countries in the world in the outbreak, registering more than 54,000 deaths from 1.4 million cases.
In November, prime minister Boris Johnson’s government imposed four weeks of tough restrictions in an attempt to stop surging virus infections.
The restrictions are due to be partially lifted on December 2, giving some relief to businesses.