Spring Statement 2018: everything you need to know

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Philip Hammond has said there is "light at the end of the tunnel" for the United Kingdom economy, with the government's official forecaster upgrading short-term growth projections and predicting falls in inflation, debt and borrowing - but warning of the growing impact from Brexit in future years.

In response, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told MPs "we face, in every public service, a crisis on a scale we have never seen before".

Mr Hammond said there was still work to be done, but the Government would always take a balanced approach to reducing the debt, investing in public services and keeping taxes low, said the PM's spokesman.

His upbeat assessment in a Spring Statement had been widely trailed and although his speech was longer than had been predicted, it was limited in detailed financial commitments.

Economic growth in 2017 was recorded at 1.7%, higher than the 1.5% predicted by the OBR in November's Budget, where it expected growth to fall to 1.4% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019 and 2020.


Lower than expected borrowing and higher than predicted GDP growth previous year will bring a note of optimism, but Philip Hammond has already suggested it is too early to take his foot off the austerity brake.

Mr Hammond said the tech sector employed more than 1.5 million people and accounted for £6.8bn of investment in 2016, 50% higher than any other European country. "But this shows just how cut off from the real world he is", McDonnell said.

Green groups, industry bodies and individuals are invited to submit evidence on how the government can use the tax system to curb the use of plastic.

The OBR expects inflation to fall from its peak of 3% to the Bank of England's 2% over the next 12 months.

But all eyes will be on the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts for the deficit, debt, GDP and productivity, to see whether they back up the Chancellor's claim that there is now "light at the end of the tunnel".


London is set to receive £1.67bn to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021-22, Mr Hammond announced today. Wages of the lowest paid are up by nearly 7%, he added.

Chancellor Philip Hammond addressed the regular meeting of Cabinet ahead of his spring statement to the House of Commons.

The budget statement is also tipped to include improved economic growth and borrowing forecasts.

Mr Hammond said his deputy Elizabeth Truss would publish the departmental allocation of more than £1.5 billion of Brexit preparation funding for 2018-19.

Plastic waste is also in the Treasury's sights, with Mr Hammond announcing a consultation on implementing a plastic tax.


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