Spending round - investment in the South West

  • We have reduced the deficit, meaning we can now turn the page and spend more on our vital public services. The deficit is forecast to be only 1.1 per cent in 2018-19 compared to nearly 10 per cent in 2010, and we are able to deliver the fastest increase in day-to-day departmental spending in 15 years.
  • We are focusing on the  priorities of the British public. This means for the first time since 2002 all departments will have their budgets maintained or increased in real terms, including £200 million to transform bus services, funding for Homes England to help more young people onto the housing ladder, and an extra £30 million to help us achieve Net Zero by 2050.
  • It’s vital that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. This Spending Round is being delivered within the Government’s existing fiscal rules and with a new focus on outcomes – ensuring that extra spending results in improvements that make a difference to people’s lives.
  • This gives all areas of government the financial certainty they need to focus on delivering Brexit on 31 October as we build a brighter future for our country. Our top priority is making sure we are ready to leave the EU on 31 October and we have committed over £8 billion to prepare.

Funding the British People’s priorities:

  • Every region in the UK has a role to play in boosting the national economy. By helping all places to reach their potential, we can drive growth at the national level.
  • Today we are announcing that regions will benefit from increased funding for the public’s national priorities, accelerating investment to support every place in England, including:
    • £2.6 billion additional funding for schools in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20. This ensures that per pupil funding for all students can rise at least in line with inflation.
    • £400 million investment in Further Education in 2020-21, supporting an improved further education offer for every place in the country.
    • An extra £750 million for policing to support delivery of the Government’s commitment to recruit 20,000 additional officers by 2023 (up to 6,000 officers are to be in place by the end of 2020-21). This means new police officers in every Force in the country.
    • Increasing funding for the National Health Service by £6.2 billion in 2020-21. This will provide funding for more doctors and nurses in every region across the country. 
    • The largest increase in Local Government Core Spending Power since 2015, giving councils access to an additional £2.9 billon next year (4.3 per cent in real terms). This includes an additional £1 billion for adult and children’s social care, for local authorities to meet rising demand and stabilise the social care system.
  • In addition to the announcements in today’s Spending Round, we are committed in investing in our towns, cities and regions, and to make English devolution a success:
    • We are committed to making devolution to the English regions a success to drive local growth. As the Prime Minister set out in his speech in Manchester in July, we are going to level up the powers of Mayors and give power to people and places. 
    • In addition to their multi-year funding settlements, Mayoral Combined Authorities benefit from the £2.5 billion Transforming Cities Fund and are set receive £6.3 billion over 30 years through their gainshare investment funding, allowing them to plan for the long-term.
    • At this Spending Round, we are also continuing to fund the Adult Education Budget, which is devolved in six mayoral combined authorities and the Greater London Authority.
    • We are supporting the regeneration of towns, confirming that towns will benefit from a total of £241 million support from the Towns Fund in 2020-21 to bolster the regeneration of their high streets, town centres and local economies. The total investment from the Towns Fund is £3.6 billion.
    • As part of this, we have recently announced the initial 100 towns that will benefit from the Future High Streets Fund. Last month, towns across England – from Dudley to Dover and Scarborough to Stockport – have joined the list of areas already shortlisted to develop plans to reinvent their high streets.

The Conservatives are delivering for the South West:

  • There are 354,000 more people in employment in the South West than in 2010 and close to 132,000 more businesses.
  • Since 2010, employment in the South West has increased the third fastest of all UK regions and nations.
  • The South West has the highest employment rate of all UK regions (80.5 per cent).

Spending Round support for the South West includes:

  • 60 per cent or 182 secondary schools in the South West will see per pupil funding level up to at least £5,000 next year and 32 per cent or 604 primary schools will level up to at least £3,750.
  • The £190 million of further education funding to increase core funding for 16-19-year olds is expected to benefit providers in the South West by £13.2 million in 2020-21.
  • As part of the £850 million over the next five years to upgrade facilities and equipment in 20 hospitals, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is receiving £99.9 million to build a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro.
  • Continued funding for the DCMS sponsored museums will mean that Tate St Ives can continue with its excellent work in the South West.
  • Next year, Arts Council England will continue to support arts organisations in the South West. This includes the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre and the Cornwall Museums Partnerships.
  • The Government is continuing to fund the Adult Education Budget, which is devolved to the West of England, to ensure that adult skills provision can be focused on meeting local area needs.
  • £422 million is being provided to help reduce homelessness and rough sleeping, including an additional £54 million in 2020-21, representing a real term increase of 13 per cent compared to 2019-20. This funding will benefit the South West alongside the rest of the country.

In addition to the measures included in this Spending Round, we are committed in investing in the South West:

  • At Spring Statement 2019 we announced £7 million funding for Plymouth from the Transforming Cities Fund.
  • At Budget 2018, the Government announced a £770 million increase to the Transforming Cities Fund – bringing the total fund to £2.5 billion to 2023. This will provide an additional £23 million for the West of England Combined Authority. We also increased the competitive element of the fund.
  • To date, the South West has received more than £900 million of allocations from the Local Growth Fund, to support projects that will boost the local economy.
  • As of March 2018, £225 million from the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 had been allocated to the South West to deliver 11,055 affordable homes.
  • As part of the Housing Infrastructure Fund's forward funding, £103 million has been agreed in the South West for strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects.
  • Essential work began in November 2018 to strengthen cliffs and protect seawall at Dawlish, following the £15 million of funding committed at Budget 2016.
  • We are committed to making devolution to the South West a success – to drive local economic growth: In March 2016, a devolution deal was agreed with West of England Combined Authority: including an investment fund of £900 million over thirty years, and devolved powers over transport, planning and skills.

Labour would wreck our economy putting our vital public services at risk:

  • Labour would hit families with a new Homes Tax and other vast new tax hikes. Labour is proposing more than 20 new tax hikes ranging from income tax and inheritance tax to a garden tax and a new gifts tax. This would hit investment and raise the cost of living – damaging the economy and putting at risk the money we need to fund our vital public services.
  • Labour’s plans for a £300 billion tax bombshell on businesses would put living standards at risk. Their plans for renationalisation without compensation would threaten the pensions of millions of people, their calls to expropriate 10 per cent of thousands of British companies would cost £300 billion and their automatic support for strike action would hold the country to ransom.
  • Angela Rayner described Labour’s approach to the economy as ‘high-risk’, clearly putting funding for public services in jeopardy. ‘It is a bit of a shit-or-bust strategy, I get that. It’s a high-risk strategy’.
  • John McDonnell said business is ‘the real enemy’, showing he would not support our country to grow. ‘We’ve got to know who the real enemy are… They are the rich, they’re the corporations’.
  • Labour offered less money for the NHS than we are delivering. Labour’s manifesto committed 2.2 per cent more a year, which they said would make the NHS ‘the envy of the world’. This is much less than our 3.4 per cent a year.