Decarbonisation, air quality and biodiversity are to receive a multi-million funding boost, it was announced today in the Chancellor’s Spending Review. Sajid Javid promised to provide £30m of ‘new money to tackle the crisis in our air quality’ and also pledged another £30m for biodiversity, including an expansion of the Government’s Blue Belt programme, an ongoing scheme to protect marine species such as turtles, whales and seabirds.
As part of overall efforts to ‘step up leadership’ on climate change, the Chancellor promised new funding for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop new programmes to help meet the UK’s net zero commitment by 2050. Detailed plans for decarbonisation in the infrastructure strategy will be set out later this year, he said.
The Chancellor also told the House of Commons it was “not good enough that small business owners waste so much time because of slow internet speeds and poor mobile communications.”
He added: “We’re going to change that. We want faster broadband for everyone in the country. Quicker mobile connections and better signal coverage.”
The central pledge of the Spending Review was an increase in public spending for 2020-2021 by £13.8bn – a rise of 4.1 per cent. Major areas of investment will be in health, education and the police. Full details of the Spending Round, which sets out the government’s expenditure plans for 2020-21, are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-round-2019-document/spending-round-2019#departmental-settlements