Headlines: March 22nd, 2000

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced in his Budget that health and education will receive the major share of the new money going into public services..Spending on the health service will rise from 45.1 billion pounds in 1999/2000 to 49.3 billion pounds next year. By 2004 it will have risen to 68.7 billion pounds. Over the four years this will be an increase of 35%, taking inflation into account. Looked at in terms of expenditure per household in the UK,1850 pounds was spent last year and this will rise to 2800 pounds in 2004. By 2004 UK expenditure on health will be 7.4% of GDP, but it will still be below the EU average of 8%. It is planned to recruit an additional 10,000 nurses and a prime use of the new money will be to reduce waiting lists.

Education will receive an additional 1 billion pounds. This represents a real term rise in the UK education spending of 8% in 2000/01. The drive for literacy and numeracy will be supported with a new payment of between 3,000 to 9,000 pounds for each of the 18,000 primary schools. The schools received 2,000 pounds last year. The 3,500 secondary schools will receive payments of between 30,000 50,000 pounds to be spent on books, equipment or staffing. The money for primary and secondary schools will go direct to the head teachers.