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Autumn statement: Education, NHS, defence and HS2 – which government departments and projects are the biggest winners and losers?

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Jeremy Hunt has set out a raft of tax rises and spending cuts, in a bid to “tackle the cost of living crisis”.

With reports the country is now in recession, he said the measures would bring a “shallower downturn”.

But which departments have been cut, and which have seen their budgets increased?

Education

The chancellor said he will invest an extra £2.3 billion per year in schools over the next two years.

Because of the funding formula for each country in the UK, the chancellor said this works out as: an extra £1.5bn for the Scottish government; £1.2bn for the Welsh government; and £650m for the Northern Ireland Executive.

NHS and Social Services

More on Autumn Statement 2022

Mr Hunt announced an increase in funding for the social care sector of up to £2.8bn next year and £4.7bn the following year.

He also said the implementation of the Dilnot reforms – which will cap the amount someone personally contributes towards their care costs – will be delayed for two years.

Mr Hunt said he will increase the NHS budget by an extra £3.3bn in each of the next two years, adding that “efficiency savings alone will not be enough to deliver the services we all need”.

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The chancellor says the NHS budget will increase in each of the next two years by an extra £3.3bn

Energy and Infrastructure

The chancellor said he would add an extra £6bn of investment in energy efficiency from 2025 to help meet a new ambition of reducing energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.

Defence

Citing the war and supporting Ukraine as a need to increase defence spending, Mr Hunt said this will be maintained at 2% or more of GDP.

Foreign Aid

Mr Hunt said it would “not be possible” to return to the 0.7% overseas target until “the fiscal situation allows”.

Instead, it will remain around 0.5%.

Transport

The chancellor promised to “deliver” on the HS2 rail line to Manchester.

HS2, along with Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), is a multi-billion pound project intended to create fast rail links between London and major cities in the Midlands and north of England. The project has been beset by delays and rising costs with some estimates putting the total price tag at more than £100bn.

Phase one will open between 2029 and 2033 and run from London to Birmingham over 134 miles.

However, phase two – which runs from Birmingham to Manchester via Crewe and had originally carried on to Leeds – has been shrouded in confusion after former prime minister Boris Johnson scrapped plans for a high-speed link connecting Manchester and Leeds via Bradford – a decision his successor Liz Truss, while she was briefly prime minister, said she would reverse.

There was no mention of the link via Bradford in today’s statement, so it is unclear if this remains off the table.

Levelling up

The levelling-up fund will continue with a second round.

Capital budgets

The chancellor said he will “not cut a penny” from the capital budgets – the government’s long-term finance budgets – in the next two years, and will maintain them “at that level in cash” for the following three years.

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