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Key points from the Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review

25th Nov 2020 / By Charlie Dewhirst

NPA senior policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst sets out some of the key points for the farming industry from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) today. 

COMPREHENSIVE SPENDING REVIEW HEADLINES

  • Rishi SunakThe economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year – the largest contraction for more than 300 years. It will then bounce back with growth of 5.5% in 2021-22 and 6.6% the following year.
  • Unemployment is projected to rise from the current 1.62 million (4.4%) to 2.6 (7.5%) million people by the middle of 2021. It should then decline back to 4.4% over the following three years.
  • The government will borrow £394 billion this year. This will fall to £164bn in 2021-22 and £105bn the year after.


DEFRA FUNDING SETTLEMENT

  • Defra’s capital budget will increase by £0.6 billion in cash terms next year, taking the total to £5.8 billion.


FARM SUPPORT

  • Defra’s settlement will ensure total farm support in England of £2.4 billion in 2021-22 to meet the government’s commitment to maintain the current annual budget to farmers in every year of this Parliament.
  • The government will also take advantage of new freedoms to commence a transition towards a system in England that delivers far greater environmental and productivity benefits.


ENVIRONMENT

  • Support to implement the flagship Environment Bill measures including biodiversity net gain for development, the setting of legally-binding environmental targets, and the Office for Environmental Protection.
  • Support for increasing recycling and reducing waste, allowing Defra to progress with extended producer responsibility for packaging waste, introduce a deposit return scheme, and implement consistent collection of waste – including food waste – in every local authority in England by the end of this Parliament.
  • This settlement provides an uplift in Defra’s science capability, including extending the pilot of the Natural Capital and Ecosystems Assessment.


DEFRA’S CORE PRIORTIES

  • Improve the environment through cleaner air and water, minimised waste, and thriving plants and terrestrial and marine wildlife.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage in the agricultural, waste, peat and tree planting sectors to help deliver net zero.
  • Reduce the likelihood and impact of flooding and coastal erosion on people, businesses, communities and the environment.

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