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Philip Hammond upbeat on growth and spending in spring statement
13 March 2018, 06:34 | Hattie Nash
Hammond said he is"positively Tigger-like in his optimism
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.
Growth forecasts in 2019 and 2020 were kept unchanged at 1.3 per cent, Hammond told parliament, citing figures from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.
Those forecasts, based on the assumption that Britain would stay in the European Union, saw growth of above 2 percent for each year between 2018 and 2021.
Mr McDonnell said the Tories had added £700 billion to the national debt over the past eight years.
Mr Hammond also gave a report on Britain's economy, with economic growth ahead of its predicted targets and inflation expected to slow in coming years.
Chancellor Philip Hammond today unveiled lower government borrowing forecasts as slightly stronger growth and higher tax receipts boosted the public finances.
The chancellor said the latest estimates, which show public debt as a share of GDP falling for the next five years, showed the country was at a turning point, a decade on from the financial crisis.
There was, he said "light at the end of the tunnel".
Mr Hammond said this makes the economy vulnerable to future shocks and places "a significant burden on future generations". The consultation will remain open until 5 June 2018.
Mr Hammond said some businesses were avoiding paying VAT on sales, but he added that others were simply unfamiliar with paying taxes as this had been done on their behalf. His Treasury deputy Liz Truss said there would be "no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes".
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The Chancellor also informed MPs that around 60,000 first time buyers have benefited from the stamp duty relief he announced in the Autumn Budget. "As a nation we did it in 2017 and it is our business to do it again".
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