The Chancellor George Osborne outlined his spending review for 2015/16 and these were the key points:
- Winter fuel allowance for British citizens living abroad to be linked to a ‘temperature test’ from Autumn 2015 to ensure pensioners in hot countries do not get it.
- Non-English speaking unemployed must learn the language or risk cuts to payments.
- A ‘welfare cap’ set in Budget statement annually from April 2015 for four years. This excludes state pensions.
- New work search system will require those who claim benefits to provide a CV, register for online job search and start looking for work.
- Single parents of three and four-year-olds required to attend job centres regularly and prepare for work.
- £50bn of capital investment in 2015/16, amounting to more than £300bn for infrastructure including broadband, science and schools by 2020.
- Promises to begin the largest programme of investment in roads for 50 years and in railways since the Victorian age.
- Education budget increased to £53bn for spend on schools only.
- Pupil Premium extended to more children
- 180 more Free Schools funded.
- HMRC resource budget cut by 5%.
PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS:
- Ending automatic progression pay in public sector – though Armed Forces excluded.
- Pay rises limited to average of up to 1%.
- Public sector workers to fall by extra 144,000 by 2015/16.
- Provide the Mayor of London with almost £9bn of capital spending and additional financing power by 2020.
- Transport to make 9% savings in day-to-day spending but receive largest boost of any department to its capital budget, which rises to £9.5bn – to be repeated every year to 2020.
- NHS budget to rise to £110bn for 2015/16.
- £4.7bn capital spending in NHS.
- Defence resource budget maintained at £24bn.
- Equipment budget will be £14bn and will grow by 1% in real terms in following years.
- No reduction in numbers of soldiers, sailors or airmen, but cuts in civilian
LAW & ORDER:
- Increase of 3.4% in intelligence services budget.
- Savings of 10% in justice department.
A further £5bn of efficiency savings found in the latest spending round.
Total Government spending for 2015/16 will be £745bn.
BY: Shehab Khan