After nine years of a responsible approach to public finances, the deficit has been reduced from a ruinous 10% of GDP under the last Labour Government to just 1% of GDP today. That means we now have some room to spend more on critical public services while staying within the fiscal rules (which specify what is a responsible and sustainable level of spending). In particular:
- There is funding for 20,000 extra Police Officers across the UK over the next three years. I calculate that Croydon will get about 130 of these, an increase of 15% in the Borough’s force
- Schools are getting substantially more money. This will help all Croydon schools and comes on top of improvement over the last two years.
- The NHS is seeing the largest funding increase in its history – an extra £23 billion (+18%) a year by 2022 starting with £6 billion (+5%) next year. These are after-inflation figures. This means that the brand new A&E at Croydon University Hospital that has just opened and the £12m for a re-vamped intensive care unit there are just the start of the further improvements we will see in Croydon
- Social Care is getting an extra £1 billion, on top of the extra £2.5 billon already put into it. This has started to ease the well-known problems in this area
This extra spending is only been possible because of the responsible approach of the last few years, and the economic growth we have had.