Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced arrangements for the
delayed Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) of Government
budgets. 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, and devolved
administrations' block grants for the same period.
He said that the CSR will prioritise:
- strengthening the UK's economic recovery from COVID-19 by
prioritising jobs and skills
- levelling up economic opportunity across all nations and
regions of the country by investing in infrastructure, innovation
and people - thus closing the gap with our competitors by spreading
opportunity, maximising productivity and improving the value add of
each hour worked
- improving outcomes in public services, including supporting the
NHS, and taking steps to cut crime and ensure every young person
receives a superb education
- making the UK a scientific superpower, including leading in the
development of technologies that will support the Government's
ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050
- strengthening the UK's place in the world
- 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.
There is no set spending envelope for the Review, but the
Chancellor confirmed that departmental spending (both capital and
resource) will grow in real terms across the CSR period and that
the Government will deliver on the commitments made during the
Budget announcement to level up and invest in the priorities of the
British people. However, he made it clear that, given the impact
COVID-19 has had on the economy, there will need be tough choices
in other areas of spending.
As part of their preparations for the CSR, 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 they are delivering the Government's priorities
and focussing on delivery.
No date has been confirmed for the conclusion of the Review, but
it is expected to be around the end of September. The Government
opened a process for the CSR to allow external stakeholders to
submit representations. Representations on the CSR must be made by
24 September and ARCH is working towards making a joint submission
with the National Federation of ALMOs early in September.
ARCH would like to hear from member councils about their main
priorities for inclusion in the ARCH submission. Views and comments
should be submitted to Matthew Warburton, ARCH Policy Adviser Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org
by the end of August.
Full details of the Chancellor's announcement can be found on
the Government's website.