'Tough decisions' ahead as chancellor launches CSR process

 

The chancellor has launched the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which will be published in the autumn and is set to outline a boost in infrastructure spending over the parliament.

The review will set UK Government departments' resource budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24 and capital budgets for the years 2021/22 until 2024/25, as well as devolved administrations' block grants for the same period.

”Local

The Treasury said the CSR would prioritise 'levelling up economic opportunity across all nations and regions of the country by investing in infrastructure, innovation and people'.

It will also outline how the UK will develop technologies that will support the Government's ambition to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The review will look into improving 'the management and delivery of our commitments, ensuring that all departments have the appropriate structures and processes in place to deliver their outcomes and commitments on time and within budget'.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak did not fix a set spending envelope but has said that departments' resource and capital budgets would grow above inflation. However, he added that 'tough choices' would need to be made in 'other areas' of spending.

Government departments have been asked to identify opportunities to reprioritise and deliver savings.

Departments will also be required to fulfil a series of conditions in their returns, including providing evidence that they are delivering the Government's priorities and focussing on delivery.

Mr Sunak, said: 'The first phase of our economic response to coronavirus was about safeguarding employment as far as possible. Our goal in the second phase is to protect, create and support jobs, and we set out our plan to achieve this two weeks ago.

'The Comprehensive Spending Review is our opportunity to deliver on the third phase of our recovery plan – where we will honour the commitments made in the March Budget to rebuild, level up and invest in people and places spreading opportunities more evenly across the nation.'

To help frame the Government's approach at the Spending Review, an interim report of the Net Zero Review will be published this autumn, followed by a final report in the Spring.

The Treasury has opened a process for the CSR to allow external stakeholders to submit representations.

Representations to the CSR can be submitted here.

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