FILE - In this Wednesday, March 21, 2018 file photo, Britain's Chancellor Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of Prime Ministers Questions in Parliament in London. Britain’s Treasury chief says the country would need a new economic strategy if it leaves the European Union without a deal. Speaking on Sunday, Oct. 29, the day before he delivers his budget in the House of Commons, Philip Hammond told Sky News his plan is based on the idea there will be a deal. If there isn’t one, he says Britain “would need to look at a different strategy and, frankly, we'd need to have a new budget that set out a different strategy for the future." (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

UK Treasury chief to put cash into mental health

October 29, 2018 - 6:54 am

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Treasury chief is planning to pour 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) into mental health services as he delivers his final budget before the country leaves the European Union.

Philip Hammond's infusion is one of the expected highlights of the spending blueprint to be delivered to the House of Commons on Monday. He's also signaled he intends to increase National Health Service funding by 20 billion pounds a year by 2023 without raising taxes.

But Hammond may not yet be ready to ease the austerity implemented by a series of Conservative-led governments after the global financial crisis despite public pressure to ease the pain now.

He has urged caution, saying plans to increase spending could be thrown off track if Britain fails to secure a Bexit deal that protects trade.

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