Cash for the National Health Service—and new grammar schoolsby Alex Dean / March 7, 2017 / Leave a comment
Philip Hammond is expected to unveil a £1.3bn boost for the NHS tomorrow, along with £320m for new schools—including grammars.
In his first Budget since becoming Chancellor—and his second major fiscal statement—Hammond is likely unveil an extra £1.3bn to fund social care. The Sun reports that the extra money is seen by the government as a short-term solution, while more permanent fixes to the NHS’s cash crisis are considered.
The Financial Times reports that the move will be funded by a 3p increase in the national insurance rate paid by the self-employed.
The government will also invest £320m in the free schools programme, paving the way for new grammars: if government legislation passes, they will be free to offer selective education. A further £216m will be spent on improving existing school infrastructure.
An extra £500m a year is to be spent on skills training for 16 to 19-year-olds. Students on higher technical education courses will be eligible for maintenance loans under the new reforms, while the technical education system overall will be streamlined.
The Chancellor will also allocate more than £500m from the National Productivity Investment Fundfor research into new technologies, notably in artificial intelligence. As part of this, £200m will be spent on fellowships aligned to the government’s Industrial Strategy, while £90m will fund extra PhD places in STEM disciplines. Plans will be announced for the roll out of 5G mobile technology.