Spend, spend and spend: Javid's pitch to outbid Labour

Tuesday 01st October 2019 09:05 EDT

On Monday 30th September, at the Conservative Party conference Chancellor of ex-chequer, Sajid Javid pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 in the next five years. He will also lower the age threshold for those who qualify from 25 to 21 in his bid to "help the next generation of go-getters to get ahead".

Earlier this year, Labour pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10 an hour in 2020 and to include all workers under 18 who currently get a minimum wage of £4.35.

Highlighting that the Conservatives were now the “workers party” in the UK Javid inisted that the living wage pledge would make the UK "the first major economy in the world to end low pay altogether".

Other announcements include a £220 million funding to improve bus networks, a £5bn fund allocation to digital infrastructure which aims to connect the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country - upping the earlier target of 10%. He has also confirmed pledges made by his predecessor for £25bn to upgrade England's road network.

Amidst a raft of announcements around increased spending the chancellor also proposed an increase in 'The Youth Investment Fund' and proposed £500 for youth services in a climate of increasing knife crime and substance abuse. This will be focused on building up to 60 new centres and refurbishing 360 old ones so that young people have "somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to". However, funding for youth services has fallen from more than £870m in 2011/12 to £352m in 2017/18. This means that the pledge still does not return spending to the level of eight years ago.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter