A Spending Review is a difficult balancing act at the best of times, forcing Chancellors to make difficult choices between competing government departments and services, and trade off higher spending against the tax or borrowing needed to pay for it. This year's Spending Review is likely to be the most difficult to date. It comes after a decade of austerity, amidst the most severe economic downturn in centuries, with the nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU still uncertain, and the long-term implications of Covid-19 for our economy and public services not yet known.
At this event, IFS researcher Ben Zaranko looked ahead to the upcoming Spending Review, and outlined the options, opportunities and challenges facing the Chancellor. After that, Graham Atkins, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government, looked at how public services have been disrupted by the crisis, and changes to funding and technology made during the crisis.