Headlines: July 15th, 2002

The Prime Minister has reaffirmed that education and health will be top of the list for government spending in the Comprehensive Spending Review today (Monday 15 July).The spending review will put detail on how the big figures of the budget will be allocated and how they will deliver on promises to build ‘world class public services.’

In a speech over the weekend Tony Blair promised that the spending review would tell taxpayers exactly what they would get for the promised massive cash injection in the NHS. And he called education ‘the best means to eradicate poverty and enable people to realise their own unique potential’.

Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies however, reveals that there won’t be jam for all.

It says that if spending on education and health continues to grow in future years as it is at the moment, the amount left for other departments represents growth of just two or three per cent. This may not be enough to allow the government to make significant progress towards its child poverty target.

It warns that if the Government also wants to direct significant funds at other groups – such as pensioners – then taxes will have to rise.

Link: www.ifs.org.uk/budgetindex.shtml