THE Chancellor will become “Squishy Rishi” next week as he puts the spending squeeze on Whitehall.
While hiking spending on roads and railways outside the South East, the Spending Review that sets departmental funding for three years will be a post-pandemic “reality check”.
The Chancellor will hammer home his message that the “coffers need shoring up” after Covid spending.
MPs suspect he will seek to spend again and cut taxes in 2023 — ahead of the next General Election.
One source said the review is “a tale of two halves, with big bungs for big departments to pay for schools, hospitals, roads and more — delivering on our promise to level up — but also a reality check for Whitehall that the free lunches are over”.
The Sun understands one winner will be Michael Gove who has pushed for an extra £30billion over three years for his new super-department in charge of levelling up Britain.
Last night the Treasury unveiled the first lot of cash, with £6billion earmarked to improve travel to the North and Midlands.
About £5.7billion will go on train and station upgrades and the expansion of tram networks in cities outside of London.
And £1.2billion will transform bus services, speed up journey times, simplify fares and increase the number of services outside the capital.
Manchester will get £1.07billion, Yorkshire £1.3billion, West Midlands £1.05billion and Liverpool City Region £710million.
Last night Mr Sunak said: “There is no reason why somebody working in the North and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train in the morning compared to a commuter in the capital.”