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Prospect responds to the budget

27 October 2021

The government delivered its budget along with the long-awaited spending review which sets departmental budgets for the coming years.

Rishi Sunak Credit Treasury

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an average 3% increase in budgets for Westminster departments and signalled an end to the public sector pay freeze. Pay, he said, will be government by pay review bodies.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect,  responded:

“The government promised to end the public sector pay freeze and after this Budget they must ensure that departments do not short-change employees by failing to offer proper pay rises.

“The Chancellor said that public sector pay will be determined by independent bodies, but hundreds of thousands of civil servants, and millions of public sector workers, aren’t covered by these bodies and need government to guarantee a fair pay rise for them.

“With inflation soaring and pay rising across the private sector, this is an opportunity to reset the job market and make the public sector an attractive a place to work for skilled workers.

“What mustn’t happen is yet another free-for-all on expensive consultants, wasting public money and failing to reward public servants who have been heroes of the pandemic.”

R&D

The Chancellor also announced that he will be pushing back his target of increasing research and development spending to 2.4% from 2024 to 2027.

Mike Clancy said:

“The Chancellor talked a good game on becoming a science superpower, but the reality is that he has kicked the UK’s R&D target into the long grass.

“Far from being a science superpower, we aren’t even mid-table when it comes to investment and now won’t be until the next parliament.

“Spending on research and development is the only way to achieve the high skill and high wage economy the government want, they must reconsider this delay if they are serious about matching their rhetoric with action.”


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