As Sunak and Johnson prepare for an autumn consumption dispute, tensions intensify

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UK government spending update

When the Conservative Party members came back from the summer vacation, they were ready to face the big fight between Boris Johnson over public spending. Boris Johnson’s instinct was to increase spending and worry about future bills, as well as claiming to be Rishi Sunak, a “fiscal conservative”. Treasury.

“There are two schools of thought,” a minister said. “One is that you are a 400-pound man and you should lose weight; the other is that you are a 400-pound man, and eating a hamburger will not hurt.” The prime minister is considered to be in the former camp. “Rishi will win,” the minister added.

There is already tension between the neighbors in Downing Street £10 billion plan Reforming social care into Johnson’s apparently trivial plan, namely commissioning a new national yacht, the price of which will change from this month 150 million pounds to 250 million pounds.

The prime minister still wants to build what his former adviser Dominic Cummings said “The dumbest tunnel in the world to IrelandAccording to government officials, Johnson also recently wanted to spend billions of pounds on “cram schools,” but Sunak cut Bill is 1.4 billion pounds.

Future battles are imminent, requiring increased spending on the NHS and the courts (to help repair the damage caused by Covid-19) and other transportation programs.Johnson needs more cash “upgrade” Agenda.

But Sunak worried Inflation and rising interest rates, Piling up the cost of serving the UK 2.2 tons of debt, Has never been so high since the early 1960s.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, he put the Office of Budget Responsibility Recent warning The budget cost of high interest rates is now six times what it was before the 2008-09 financial crisis. Johnson made it clear that any additional expenditure beyond the current plan must be paid with higher taxes.

The tension between the prime minister and the prime minister is nothing new. “The prime minister always wants to spend more money, and the prime minister has a sacred duty to try to balance the accounts,” said a senior figure in the Conservative Party.

Downing Street officials said that compared with the bloody smell that flows between Johnson’s predecessors Theresa May and Philip Hammond, or between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s new Labor duo, any of today’s The tensions are trivial.

“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of Finance speak every day,” a Treasury official said. “They complement each other-they can work well together.” Neutral observers in Whitehall confirmed that the relationship between the two countries is far from broken, and Johnson still admires his prime minister.

But recent events have sparked speculation-investigations show that the Secretary of the Exchequer’s stock is rising with the support of Conservative activists-Sunak is “taking action” to improve his leadership.

Insiders within the Ministry of Finance soon blamed the matter on the 10th PR disaster Johnson and Sunak decided to participate in a “pilot program” to avoid Covid self-isolation, and then quickly retreated.

The Conservative radicals viewed this incident vaguely and seemed to blame Johnson.His poll rating dropped by 35 percentage points Conservative house This month’s survey showed that the positive net approval rate was slightly higher than 3%. The total number of Sunak is 74%.

Recently, there have been stories in the media describing Sunak as a public spending hawk-popular among many Conservative militants-and Push Johnson Reopen for international travel. His assistant denied that they were responsible for these stories.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer tends to reject the suggestion that public spending needs to be permanently increased to cover the long-term Covid vaccination plan, education and transportation support, insisting that the government’s public spending plan is already generous.

Although the budget credited is more than Austerity year Former Prime Minister George Osborne stated that government departments are struggling to cope with the prospect of withdrawing Covid-related expenditures starting in the spring of 2022, and even before expanding the provision of social care, most of the increase in expenditures has been allocated to the NHS .

“There are more tensions now,” a cabinet minister said, adding “Joint Economic Unit” Established by Cummings in February 2020 to unite the ideas of No. 10 and No. 11 Downing Street, it is now basically working for Sunak.

Cummings is an admirer of Sunak, and the department led by Liam Booth-Smith is ironically regarded by some in the government as a parting gift from Cummings to the new prime minister.

Although the department-and the eight special political advisers attached to it-responded nominally to Johnson and Sunak, a senior Treasury official said: “Rich has made it clear that they are his spy. [advisers]. ”

With the support of the official Treasury machine and this platoon of political advisers, Sunak has the ability to resist the No. 10 spending proposal.

Some of the number 10 people hope that Dan Rosenfield, a former Treasury official who is now Johnson’s chief of staff, can contend with his old department. But an insider said: “This didn’t really happen.”

Sunak’s team insisted that the “joint economic unit” is more like a “work style title” to show that Johnson and Sunak have a common agenda. “Nothing has changed,” said an ally of the prime minister. “All black hands are hired by the Prime Minister and work for him.”

Jill Rutter, a senior researcher at the Institute of Government Think Tanks, said the true test of the relationship between Johnson and Sunak will come in the fall when major spending decisions must be made.

“From the outside, No. 10 is too weak, and it’s not clear enough about what it wants,” she said.

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