Most commentators expected the last Autumn Statement to feature something on health and adult social care and there was bemusement over the Chancellor's silence at the dispatch box. Expectation is even higher as this week's budget approaches.
Whilst the Chancellor has indicated health and social care will feature in this week's fiscal announcement, he has also indicated there will be no spending sprees, as he seeks to build his Brexit war chest.
So will measures announced be moving the deckchairs (eg bringing forward already announced BCF funding) or will there be a surprise, as something more fundamental is set in train?
Philip Hammond is expected to use Wednesday’s budget to announce that tax revenues will be used to build up a reserve to deal with uncertainties arising from Brexit, rather than increase spending on the health service. The chancellor has indicated that some extra money will be allocated for social care. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has warned that £12bn should be immediately redirected to the NHS, warning that “the crisis is happening now”. The government has announced the allocation of more than £500m from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to help Britain’s innovators.