Chancellor Sajid Javid’s decision to cancel a planned speech on Tuesday to announce next week’s spending review has been labelled a “panic measure.”
Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, in a speech on Thursday (29), will say that any pay boost for public services will last only long enough to get the Conservative party through an election campaign, reported The Independent.
Citing reports that Javid will maintain Philip Hammond’s deficit targets, McDonnell will say that it will be a stunt budget that wouldn’t necessarily benefit public services.
He is expected to say: “Philip Hammond’s austerity rules will be kept in place meaning another year of austerity.”
“Nobody is fooled that this is a normal and proper spending review that any normal, strong and stable incoming government would undertake.
“It’s a one off, pre-election, panic driven, stunt budget.”
And he will add: “As someone who has been called the people’s chancellor, I can tell you that these stunt measures not only fail to address the people’s priorities, they demonstrate that the Tories have no appreciation of the people’s pain imposed on them by year after year of Tory austerity and cuts.
“People see though this as crude electioneering, ruthless opinion poll politics.”
On September 4, Javid will make his first round of spending pledges. Schools, hospital and the police are expected to get a pay boost.
New week’s spending review will cover government department budgets only for 2020-21 rather than the usual three-year period.
Javid had earlier said the review would give Whitehall departments certainty over their budgets and will give them an idea of the government’s plans to fund the nation’s priorities.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has dismissed McDonnell’s comments, and said “only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will deliver Brexit on 31 October and have a plan to invest in our NHS, deal with violent crime and cut the cost of living – getting our country on the road to a brighter future.”