Live updates and reaction from Wales as Chancellor sets out spending plans

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out this afternoon (Nov. 25) spending plans for 2021 as the economy continues to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

His announcements about health care funding and public sector wage freezes are expected to have a major impact on the Welsh government in the coming year.

He will make his announcement around 12:30 pm after the Prime Minister’s questions. You can follow here for live updates.

Ahead of the Commons statement, Mr Sunak pledges to make jobs his “first priority”.

He is expected to announce the launch of a three-year reboot program worth £ 2.9 billion, which will put more than a million unemployed people back into work.

He said: “My first priority is to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK.

“This spending review will ensure that hundreds of thousands of jobs are supported and protected in the acute phase of this crisis and beyond, with a multi-billion dollar package of investments to ensure that no one is left without hope or opportunity.”

The Chancellor has insisted that he has no intention of returning to “austerity” and would continue to support the economy in its bid to recover from the pandemic.

In addition to the Restart program, a £ 1.4 billion pledge is made to increase Jobcentre Plus’ capacity and a £ 375 million skills package.

Other pledges are expected to include £ 3bn more to support the NHS, including £ 1bn to clear the backlog of treatment built up while dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

Steps will also be taken to support Boris Johnson’s “leveling” agenda with the publication of the National Infrastructure Strategy and investments in the regions and countries of the UK, including £ 1.6 billion for local roads.

But the Chancellor will also take the first steps to rebuild public finances with another round of wage moderation in the public sector.

Wages for more than four million workers are expected to be completely capped or frozen, with only NHS first-line doctors and nurses expected to be exempt. He is also reportedly planning to cut a planned 5% increase in the national living wage.

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