Welcome to this month’s policy update from HLA:THINK
Through these regular updates we will share with you some of the key developments in different areas of health and care policy, all through publicly available resources.
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The 2021 Budget
This month’s major policy development was the publication of the UK Government’s 2021 budget, the full version of which you can find here. Typically, the government holds a Budget every year, and every two to four years will release a longer-term spending review.
The Budget determines the level of support that will be provided for the economy, the measures that will be imposed to fund public finances, and, in this instance, the processes the Treasury intends to use to deal with the consequences from the pandemic.
You can find a helpful lay summary of how successful the 2021 Budget has been in achieving these three aims in this publication by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Various news organisations have provided a summary of the key points from the 2021 Budget, including BBC News, The Independent, and The Guardian. The Leader of the Opposition’s response can also be found here. You can also find the latest economic forecasts produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility whose role is to provide independent analysis of the UK’s public finances. We have included another of their recent reports here.
The Budget affects all aspects of spending, including on healthcare, something which we will be explaining in more detail in a future HLA:THINK piece. The King’s fund have published their views on the Budget’s impact on the health sector, along with a historic look at healthcare funding. Other commentators such as the Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust have highlighted the lack of specific plans to support the sector’s post-pandemic recovery. NHS England has since published its own COVID-19 Recovery plan with NHS Providers subsequently responding. You can also find the Welsh Government’s recovery plan here.