£3billion for NHS to fight surgery backlog: Rishi Sunak is set to announce funding boost in Spending Review to tackle operations cancelled during Covid
- Chancellor is expected to announce boost for the National Health Service
- Suspending surgery during Covid created waiting list of three million patients
- Mr Sunak is also set to make a £500 million pledge to mental health services
Rishi Sunak will unveil £3 billion to fund the backlog of surgeries that have been cancelled in the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor is expected to announce the boost for the National Health Service in his Spending Review on Wednesday.
Suspending elective surgery during the first Covid wave has created a waiting list of more than three million patients.
The spending will come alongside other measures to help those worst affected by the ravages of coronavirus, and will include half a billion pounds for mental health services.
The Chancellor (pictured) is expected to announce the boost for the National Health Service in his Spending Review on Wednesday
A rescue package worth tens of millions of pounds will go to the beleaguered high street, where many retailers are struggling.
Mr Sunak will also confirm a business rates exemption to help them through Christmas and into the spring, and announce billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure, including £1.6 billion to tackle potholes and upgrade local roads.
His £500 million pledge to mental health services will primarily fund new specialist services for children and young people, including in schools, along with extra support for people with severe mental illness.
‘The pandemic has had a major impact on mental health because of increased isolation and uncertainty,’ said the Chancellor. ‘This funding will make sure those who need help get the right support as quickly as possible so they don’t have to suffer in silence.’
As The Mail on Sunday revealed in September, he will freeze public-sector pay to make savings and reduce the UK’s foreign aid spend from 0.7 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent. The Chancellor is also understood to be looking at scrapping inflation-linked increases to welfare payments.
Mr Sunak will also confirm a business rates exemption to help them through Christmas and into the spring, and announce billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure, including £1.6 billion to tackle potholes and upgrade local roads
With unemployment set to rise as high as 4.5 million next year, the Department for Work and Pensions’ £176 billion budget will come under intense pressure.
A source said the Chancellor has grown weary of the public perception of him as ‘Dishy Rishi’ handing out taxpayers’ money when he has consistently been among the most hawkish of Ministers, arguing to reopen the economy as quickly as possible.
One MP said: ‘The thing people do not yet realise about Rishi is just how fiscally conservative he is.’