Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers Spring Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers Spring Statement

Economists expect Mr Hammond will announce Government borrowing is set to be about £7bn lower in 2017-18 than had been predicted when he unveils the latest forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which will for the first time include spending estimates for the £35-39bn Brexit "divorce bill" agreed with the European Union in December.

He said that the OBR is projecting headroom for the Government of £15.4bn in 2021 versus his 2 per cent of overall GDP borrowing target.

He also announced estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility that jobs growth would continue.

The Chancellor also talked about the need to reduce plastic waste, how the tax system can drive technological change, and £20m of funds available now to businesses and universities to stimulate new thinking on the subject.

He is expected to reveal that tax receipts are covering day-to-day government spending for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

John McDonnell
Labour’s John Mc Donnell has called on the Chancellor to announce the end of austerity

It's expected that he will say borrowing is down - possibly by as much as £10bn - and that growth is up.

Growth forecasts in 2019 and 2020 were 1.3 percent for both years, unchanged from the November forecast.

At the weekend he said: "There is light at the end of the tunnel because what we are about to see is debt starting to fall after it has been growing for 17 continuous years. We have to get debt down".

He said Mr Hammond "must use today to act and end austerity" and warned him against filling his statement with "boastful self-praise and not a recognition of the devastation faced by many in our country".

Mr Streeter told the Commons yesterday that the Government has an "opportunity" to be "more generous with efficient local authorities".

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