In George Osborne’s Autumn Statement there were few big surprises and headline grabbing announcements we’ve recently come to expect.
In a combined Spending Review and Autumn Statement, changes to government departmental budgets dominated the Chancellor’s speech.
Day-to-day spending of government departments will fall by an average of 0.8% a year in real terms.
The transport (37%), energy (22%) and business (17%) departments are facing the largest cuts. The core administration budget for culture, media and sport will fall by 20% but there will be increased funding for the Arts Council and sport.
NHS spending in England will increase from £101 billion in 2015/16 to £120 billion by 2020/21, including £6 billion next year. It is also expected to make £22 billion in efficiency savings in the next 5 years.
The economic news was largely positive. The combined effect of better tax receipts and lower debt interest has resulted in a £27 billion improvement in public finances compared to July.
The government will borrow £8 billion less than forecast and aims to have a budget surplus of £10.1 billion by 2020.
GDP is forecast to grow by 2.4% this year and has been revised up from July to 2.4% in 2016 and 2.5% in 2017.