This week sees the Chancellor conduct a one-year Spending Review, setting the Government’s priorities for 2021-22. Clearly at the present time the focus must be primarily on the response to COVID-19 and supporting our recovery from it.
While at the time of writing, the Spending Review has yet to take place, it will include a £500million package to support mental health services in England after increased demand for support during the pandemic, the majority of the funding will be spent on specialist services for young people, including in schools, and support for NHS workers.
In the same review, the Chancellor will unveil his long-term plan for infrastructure investment, and this will include the confirmation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the government funding that will replace the regional EU structural funding that Cornwall has previously received. I believe that this funding, if less prescriptive and better targeted than the previous EU funding, will be better value and of more benefit to our economy than its predecessor.
While by necessity the Spending Review this week will be for a shorter period than originally planned, I was pleased to see some of the long-term priorities of the government set out last week with two major announcements.
Firstly, the Prime Minister set out a ambitious ten point plan for a green industrial revolution which will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs. This will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.
Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies this will allow the UK to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050, particularly crucial in the run up to the climate summit in Glasgow next year.
Last week we also saw the largest investment in the nation’s defence in the last 30 years, providing our defence budget with an extra £24.1 billion over the next four years. The commitment will allow the Government to invest in cutting-edge technology, positioning the UK as a global leader in domains such as cyber and space and cement the UK’s position as the largest defence spender in Europe and the second largest in NATO.
These are both significant and positive national announcements and I will be working hard to ensure that Truro and Falmouth gets its fair share of the investment announced, with our burgeoning sustainable energy industry prime for investment from the green industrial revolution, and the excellent links Falmouth Docks continues to enjoy with our Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary makes it a natural beneficiary for a refreshed and enhanced fleet.
Moving back to immediate events, next week will see the current COV-19 restrictions come to an end, on 2 December, and I will be continuing to make the case for Cornwall to return to a lower level of alert. The end of last week showed promising signs as signs indicate that coronavirus cases are starting to flatten as a result of current measures, so in the meantime I continue to urge everyone to stay safe and follow the rules to help us all in the fight against this virus.
If you need my assistance with anything then my team and I are here to help. Please get in touch with me by email at Cherilyn.email@example.com, by telephone on 01872 229698.