The government has made at least two dozen spending commitments that have yet to be funded, opening the door to further tensions between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.
The Chancellor has pledged more than $ 200 billion to deal with the fallout from Covid-19 and the ensuing recession, and wants to reduce the deficit later this year by cutting government spending and increasing taxes.
But there are nearly 30 policies in the Tories’ election manifesto that have yet to be fully implemented and will require new treasury funding if they are to move forward. The calculation excludes commitments, such as keeping foreign aid spending at their previous level, which were explicitly dropped due to the pandemic.
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Mr Sunak suggested he would begin the process of fiscal tightening when reviewing spending this fall, implying that government spending is likely to cut rather than increase. But the prime minister is pushing for funding to fulfill his upgrade program, without having to break his promise not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT.
Among the manifesto’s promises that have yet to be kept, according to the Institute for Government, are a number of specific spending commitments such as additional funding of $ 80 million per year for dementia, a prosperity fund. shared in the UK starting next year at a cost of 500 million, and a national skills fund of 3 billion of which only 375 million has already been committed.
There are also a number of policies that do not have a specific cost, but are likely to cost several billion pounds if fully implemented. These include the construction of 40 new hospitals, a solution to England’s welfare system, the cancellation of Beeching cuts to the rail network and the construction of the Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The government has pledged to cut corporate rates, which make more than $ 25 billion a year, and lower interest rates on student loan repayments, both measures that would reduce overall Exchequer revenues.
Mr Sunak faces growing questions about the future of the triple pension lockdown after estimates that the state pension could increase by 8% this year. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the rules would not be changed, telling Sky News: The triple lockdown is something we’ve been committed to for several years now. There has never been any suggestion that would be changed and I am sure it will stand. This is obviously a matter of thought for the Chancellor but I don’t think there is a chance that he will change her.
The Chancellor would wait for a final decision until it is clear whether the sharp increase in average incomes seen in recent months is temporary or not.
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