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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 23:27 GMT 00:27 UK
Brown unveils school cash bonanza
UK schools are in line for their biggest boost in funding in a generation after Chancellor Gordon Brown unveiled across-the-board increases in public spending.
The windfall for education follows record increases in health spending unveiled by Mr Brown in his March budget.
Spending on education in England will increase from £45bn to £58bn over the next three years, he said.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will also receive fresh funding for schools.
Total spending on public services will be lifted £61bn to £301bn by 2005/06.
But Tory shadow chancellor Michael Howard condemned the plans, saying "more money without real reform just won't work".
The chancellor also announced big rises for transport and housing as he unveiled his three-year plan for government spending in the House of Commons.
The extra cash for housing was welcomed by campaigners, although the National Housing Association said it was half the figure actually needed.
Homeless charity Shelter said it was vital that the extra cash was spent on those who needed it most.
Bill Morris, general secretary of the TGWU union, welcomed the cash boost for public services.
"The emphasis on education, and especially the allowances to extend study, is particularly welcomed as investing in our children for the long-term benefit of our economy," Mr Morris said.
Mr Brown said the spending review signalled the "biggest sustained rise in education spending in a generation".
And he recalled Tony Blair's 1997 election pledge as he vowed: "Education, education, education."
He said there would be a 6% increase in the education budget year-on-year.
More money will be pumped into modernising schools, while headteachers will receive extra cash to recruit more talented teachers.
The chancellor said every "typical" secondary school would get an extra £50,000 in direct payments next April and every year until 2005/06.
Of those, 1,400 would receive an additional £125,000 to attract teachers with leadership skills.
Each primary school will receive an extra direct payment of £10,000 a year for the next three years.
There were also substantial increases for a range of other departments.
House building programme
But Mr Brown stressed: "For this government reform and resources go together."
The chancellor announced a massive house building programme to provide affordable homes for key workers with what he said was the most sustained rise in the budget for housing for 25 years.
He said £5.9bn would be pumped into building new homes, a 105% real terms increase since 1997.
Spending on the fight against crime will rise to £13.5bn from £10bn by 2005/06 to help pay for more police officers, reform of the asylum system and further strengthening of internal security.
Mr Brown also announced rises in the budgets for defence, overseas aid, farming and science.
But the chancellor said there would be measures to sack ineffective managers and take over failing institutions if extra money was spent unwisely.
Transport is to receive a 12% rise in real terms funding over the next three years as the chancellor's close ally Alistair Darling seeks to revitalise the ailing rail network.
Defence will get a £3.5bn increase in funding to meet greater demands on the services since the 11 September terrorist attacks.
And the chancellor said that, to meet the UK's "moral obligations" to people living in poverty, the overseas aid budget would rise to £4.9bn by 2005/06, an increase of £1.6bn on this year's figure.
There will be a 10% rise in the science budget and a £400m increase in funding for agriculture aimed at reviving the fortunes of farming.
'Margin of prudence'
Mr Brown said the economic outlook for the country was good, with inflation under control, low unemployment and low interest rates.
He said financial targets could be met through increased spending, "with a margin of prudence".
Tony Blair had earlier described Mr Brown's third spending review as a "defining moment" for his government.
The investment in education will see British spending on schools and universities surpass US levels as well as the EU average.
But shadow chancellor Michael Howard condemned the spending plans, saying Mr Brown had not learned the lessons of past failures.
"The chancellor and his colleagues simply don't know how to bring about real reform to the public services.
"We need real reform. Isn't the lesson of the last five years that more money without real reform just won't work?"
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Matthew Taylor welcomed the extra spending for public services.
But he added: "Ministers must not let the money be wasted by control freaks and micro-managers in London."
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