Business leaders have called on the Chancellor to invest to “fix the fundamentals” such as road, rail and communications infrastructure as part of today’s spending review.

Sajid Javid is due to outline future Government departmental spending in the review today, which covers one year rather than the normal three.

Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said he was looking for the Chancellor to announce investment that would “fix the fundamentals” such as road and rail infrastructure and broadband connectivity.

With the current state of politics, he said there was a risk the Chancellor tried to win “hearts and minds” with big ticket promises that may ultimately be difficult to fund.

“There’s every chance it will be a platform ahead of an election pitch,” he said.

“That’s what we think could be of concern. It’s fairly apparent a lot of the statements and the giveaways that the Government are talking about is part of an election campaign.

“You are seeing a spending profile that, if the economy contracts and we find ourselves in recession, then the money needs to be found to pay for the promises. If you’re not making it, then you’ve got to borrow it.

“The worry we’ve got is that this is about buying votes in a way that if the economy was functioning really well you could understand it. But if you are going beyond infrastructure and investing in things like education, it’s a long time before you see that pay back and you’ve got to be able to afford it.”

Barry Leahey MBE, chair of the Cumbria branch of the Institute of Directors and managing director of global exporter Playdale Playgrounds, in Haverthwaite, said it was a chance to invest in projects to help the country prosper post-Brexit.

“Let’s grasp this opportunity to put the domestic agenda front and centre,” he said.

“The main things, and especially for the North, is looking at infrastructure and major projects like Northern Powerhouse rail and digital connectivity.

"From an IOD point of view we’ve got to cut the skills gap if we’re going to compete post-Brexit.

“The North has a greater potential than the rest of the country because we’re further behind and therefore your return on investment would be greater.”

Last month business leaders from across the North called on the Government to commit to a Northern Budget outlining £40 billion to fund a raft of projects.

The call was backed by members of Transport for the North’s board and asked the Government to deliver on commitments previously promised as part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The three core requests are a commitment to a £7bn Northern Infrastructure Pipeline – a list of “shovel-ready” road and rail projects to be delivered by the mid-2020s - construction of the £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail network by 2040 and £1bn of funding for Transport for the North over the next three years.

Cumbrian projects contained within the Northern Infrastructure Pipeline include the Grizebeck Bypass, in south Cumbria, and the Carlisle Southern Relief Road.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the Chancellor risks outlining budgets without knowing if they can be sustained after Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already made promises including hiring 20,000 extra police officers, upgrading 20 hospitals and investing an extra £14bn in schools over the next three years.

The IFS said these announcements were made on the basis of a fiscal headroom which would disappear if the Treasury used up-to-date forecasts incorporating the recent slump in economic activity.

John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor, has called the review a "panic-driven stunt".

He said: "Nobody is fooled that this is a proper and normal spending review. It is a one-year only, panic-driven stunt budget."