Chancellor announces additional £14 billion in public service funding
An additional £14 billion will go towards public services, including the NHS and local authorities involved in the UK fight against Coronavirus, the Treasury has confirmed today.
The funding includes additional spending for the NHS and local authorities to deal with Covid-19, along with £5 billion for other public services to tackle the pandemic. The share for devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland stands at just under £2 billion.
The funding includes more than £6 billion to support health services, free up hospital beds and deliver urgent priorities including acquiring ventilators, diagnostic tests and protective equipment for NHS staff. The Treasury support will also enable home delivery of medicines to the most vulnerable people in the country, and it has helped support medical and nursing students and retired doctors and nurses to join the front line.
Alongside £1.6 billion of new funding for Local Authorities, the Government has allocated £2.9 billion to support local services and hospital discharge. This will reinforce care for the vulnerable, and meaning that those who are strong enough can leave hospital more quickly, freeing up hospital bed space for patients that need it.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “Our public services and its incredible workers are working with immense resolve and skill to keep us safe. We depend on them, which is why we are doing everything we can to provide our NHS, local authorities and others, with the resources and tools they need to tackle the virus.
Responding to the announcement, Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation said: “This announcement comes on top of the welcome decision to write off NHS debt and as such is another important pillar in the support needed to manage the current crisis.
“Everyone involved is bracing themselves for what could be a massive wave of cases – we must hope we have done enough to prevent these services from being overwhelmed but we will not know for some time.”
The announcement comes as a further 717 people were announced to have died from Covid-19 today, taking the UK death toll to 11,329.
The £14.5 billion of expenditure approved so far includes:
- £6.6 billion of support to our health services
- £1.6 billion for local authorities
- £0.9 billion to help clinically vulnerable individuals
- £3.5 billion to secure vital rail services
- £1.0 billion for the Scottish Government
- £0.6 billion for the Welsh Government
- £0.3 billion for the Northern Ireland Executive