Ben Franklin, Co-Director, Centre for Progressive Policy, on the Spending Review
The Chancellor’s determination to be hawkish with public spending has today got in the way of serious economic and social progress. Enforcing spending ceilings and new fiscal rules in the midst of a cost of living crisis unnecessarily limits how far government can go in easing that crisis for ordinary people, and the funding promised today barely touches the sides in terms of addressing the damages of the past - let alone building a better future.
The Chancellor has responded to calls by CPP and others to increase spending on education, but we are still only returning to 2010 levels of spending on school children. Growing spend on local government is welcome but the 3% per year increase will not be enough to rebuild hollowed out local services. To start levelling up the country, the Chancellor needed to set out a bold spending and investment programme on all aspects of social infrastructure - including education, childcare and social care - but despite much bluster such ambition was ultimately lacking.
Dean Hochlaf, Research analyst, Centre for Progressive Policy, on education spending
We must go further than the promised increase in education spending to 2010 levels as costs rise and the legacy of the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic becomes clearer. The Chancellor made clear that investing in education is essential for delivering the government’s ambition of a high wage, high productivity economy. He should therefore invest to meet the needs of students today, not 2010.
Zoë Billingham, Co-Director, Centre for Progressive Policy, on local government finances
Councils provide a safety net for so many people but following years of cuts that safety net is threadbare. Local government is still far from being on a secure footing, despite the investment in essential services promised today.
The government needs to treat local authorities as partners in the levelling up agenda. Piecemeal ‘levelling up’ funding pots will not solve the current cost of living crisis, neither can councils endlessly raise taxes to plug the gaping holes in the system, including in social care. The government needs to provide fair funding for the basic services communities deserve and value.