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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Q&A: The spending review
Chancellor Gordon Brown unveils the government's spending review on Monday. BBC News Online looks at what it's all about.

What is the spending review?

It's where the chancellor sets out the government's spending plans for the next three years. Monday's covers 2005/6, 2006/7 and 2007/8. The chancellor started the reviews in 1998 to get away from the annual scrap for cash between departments and inject more stability into the government's plans.

How important is this year's announcement?

With a general election expected next spring, the review gives Labour a last chance to impress the voters with the size of its cash giveaways before going to the polls. It is also a major pointer to what will be the priorities for Labour's election manifesto. The opposition parties meanwhile are accusing Mr Brown of squandering taxpayers' money on red tape and the wrong priorities.

What did we know of Mr Brown's plans before Monday's review?

We know that much of the extra money will go to health and education. In his Budget, the chancellor said health would get a 7.3% annual real terms increase to 2007/8, the lion's share of extra spending. Education meanwhile will get a 4.4% annual rise.

Mr Brown has also promised real terms increases for the Home Office, defence and transport.

You can see the Spending Review debate live on BBC News Online, BBC Two and BBC Parliament from 1530 BST. It will be broadcast throughout the night on BBC Parliament from 0000 BST



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