By freezing pay and benefits, Sunak will be levelling down, not up | Polly Toynbee


The chancellor’s spending review will hit the north hardest: prepare yourselves for a new austerity

The gargantuan sums will look big enough to see from space. Noughts too many to count, in every number for borrowing and spending, may numb the senses. “No austerity,” the government will declare. But not for long.

In this week’s spending review, the chancellor will fulfil Boris Johnson’s lavish manifesto bribes – more police, doctors, nurses and hospitals, as well as infrastructure projects in the north of England. (Although not that 0.7% foreign-aid pledge.) Pensioners will keep their triple lock. Yet the two-child limit and the benefit cap will help child poverty reach record levels.

Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist

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