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Social care loses out but better news for R&D in Treasury Spending Review

26th November 2020 about a 2 minute read

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has offered a potential increase of 4.5 per cent in council core spending power – but this depends on local authorities raising council tax by 5 per cent next year.

His announcement on social care in the Treasury Spending Review has been met with dismay from some in the sector. 

However his proposals for research and development (R&D) have prompted a much more positive reaction.

“This is a great opportunity for new businesses to develop innovative and new technologies to improve health outcomes and lives.” Peter Bloomfield, Future Care Capital head of Policy and Research

The Chancellor said that the damage caused by COVID-19 meant tough choices had to be made.

The Spending Review, announced on Wednesday, included £3bn for the NHS, a total of £14.6bn for R&D plus £559m to support the modernisation of technology across the health and care system.

Scientific superpower

The cash for R&D was intended to “cement the UK’s future as a scientific superpower and drive economic growth,” according to the Spending Review.

And the report adds: “This will boost the UK’s world-class research base and increase the productivity and international competitiveness of its innovative firms”.

Peter Bloomfield, Future Care Capital head of Policy and Research, said: “There is significant investment going into R&D and infrastructure, related to COVID-19 recovery as well as for future growth.

“This is a great opportunity for new businesses to develop innovative and new technologies to improve health outcomes and lives.”

He added that he welcomed the announcement of a further £200m for a second round of the Shared Outcomes Fund.

Shared Outcome Fund pilots

Last year’s Spending Review announced £200m for the Fund to support pilot projects to test innovative ways of working across the public sector.

The pilots include projects for:

  • drugs enforcement and treatment (£28m)
  • transition to adulthood hubs (£3m)
  • prison leavers (£20m)
  • a creating opportunities forum for tackling serious violence (£3.7m)
  • data improvement
  • small cell 5G development (£7m)
  • online harms (£2.7m)
  • emerging drone technology
  • out-of-hospital care models (£15.9m)
  • cross-governmental refugee transitions outcomes fund (£10m)

Key spending pledges

1. £14.6bn for R&D reflecting the Government’s ongoing commitment to spend 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027

2. Start-up support in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) funding allocation for COVID-19 support and recovery plus further investment in the British Business Bank (£557.5m capital funding for 2020-2)

4. £548m in global vaccination commitments

5. £9.6m investment in cross-departmental data quality improvement for policymaking.