UK chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid pledged a major fiscal stimulus to schools, police forces and hospitals, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
Mr Javid said in a Telegraph article the same day that there would be no “blank cheques” for Whitehall departments and that the government would not break “fiscal rules” during the time leading up to Brexit.
The Chancellor said: "Thanks to the hard work of the British people over the last decade, we can afford to spend more on the people’s priorities, without breaking the rules around what the Government should spend, and we’ll do that in a few key areas like schools, hospitals and police.
📣The Chancellor @SajidJavid has confirmed that the Spending Round will be delivered on Wednesday 4 September.— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) August 27, 2019
💷The fast-tracked #SpendingRound will set departmental budgets for 2020/21.
Read more 👇 https://t.co/yphGstuUoC pic.twitter.com/Sp9r0astu0
But it was “vital” that the UK continues to live within its means “as a country”, he said, adding that unlike the Labour Party, Tories didn’t “believe in just throwing money at a problem”.
“And especially at a time when the global economy is slowing, it’s important that we don’t let our public finances get out of control,” Mr Javid added.
Mr Javid said that he could confirm that next week’s Spending Round would be “delivered within the current fiscal rules” and that for households, this would mean “making choices and prioritising where we focus spending, and any departments expecting a blank cheque will be sorely disappointed”.
The statements came shortly after meeting with US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin as the two sides discussed their post-Brexit future.
Prime Minister Johnson also launched a wave of spending boosts in early June to the NHS, including £1.8bn from existing budgets and a £250m 'NHS X' artificial intelligence centre aimed at treating patients with cancer and "freeing up staff care for patients", among others, in addition to recruiting 20,000 police by 2021 and providing additional funding for patrols.
Mounting speculation has been growing across UK media that snap elections could take place shortly after UK prime minister Boris Johnson withdraws the UK from the European Union after 31 October, with next week's spending review widely seen as a complement to a future Tory platform in a general election.
Sajid Javid has brought his Spending Review forward to early September. Was originally scheduled for October. Which means that we’re going to have a General Election then instead.— Liam Young (@liamyoung) August 27, 2019
The developments come after Prime Minister Johnson said on Tuesday that he had held "positive and substantive" talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Brexit, with the latter negotiating with oppositions parties led by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who issued a joint statement on preventing a no-deal Brexit. The British Prime Minister has stressed he would like to renegotiate former UK prime minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement with Brussels, with his spokesperson stating that the UK government had set out a "range of options" to the contentious Irish backstop.
Mr Johnson also published a four-page letter addressed to European Council president Donald Tusk outlining proposals for Brexit, namely concerns regarding alternatives to a hard border on the Irish Isles, with the backstop resulting from the EU keeping Northern Ireland in the EU customs Union, which London opposes. The British PM has stated clearly that the UK would leave the EU by the 31 October deadline "come what may", but stated that he would prefer an orderly withdrawal.