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Spring Statement shows Chancellor 'cut off from real world', McDonnell warns

Spring Statement shows Chancellor 'cut off from real world', McDonnell warns

The figure is now thought likely to come in around £43 billion, rather than the £49.9 billion forecast in November, delivering a knock-on boost to subsequent years.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street in London, March 12, 2018.

In this respect then, when coupled with warnings of the dire economic calamities of a Corbyn government, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Spring Statement was an extended party political broadcast and not much else.

The OBR also revised down debt and borrowing costs.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell responded to the statement by saying Hammond's "complacency is astounding".

"The economy has slightly more momentum in the near term, thanks to the unexpected strength of the world economy, but there seems little reason to change our view of its medium-term growth potential", it said.

He also said the Department for Education would release up to £80 million to help small businesses with the apprenticeship levy.

Estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility say the United Kingdom economy has grown 1.7 per cent in 2017, compared to the previous forecast of 1.5 per cent announced in the Autumn Budget in November.

Citing the success of the five pence plastic bag levy, the Treasury will be gathering evidence from environmental organisations, businesses and individuals on how the tax system can be used to reduce the UK's reliance on plastics.

Two Congress members expelled, 11 suspended from TS Assembly
Earlier, the address was marred by slogan-shouting Congress members who accused the TRS government of being "anti-farmer". Following the ruckus, the TRS alleged that several Congress legislators were drunk, adding that they could prove it.

On housing, he said there is an investment programme of £44bn. Hammond will be updating the parliament on UK's economic outlook.

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

The Chancellor talked up "substantial progress" on the Brexit talks so far and said he looks forward to "another important step forward next week at the European Council", when negotiating teams meet.

With an expected drop in borrowing, higher-than-predicted GDP growth of 1.7% for 2017 and the recent elimination of the Government's deficit on day-to-day spending, Mr Hammond is expected to tell MPs that the United Kingdom is reaping the reward for years of austerity.

By 2021 the growth forecast was 1.4 percent, compared with a previous forecast of 1.5 percent.

Debt is forecast to be 1% lower than expected at the time of last autumn's Budget, peaking at 85.6% of GDP in 2017/18, before falling gradually to 77.9% in 2022/23.

His deputy Liz Truss said there would be no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes.

At the weekend Hammond said: "Single-use plastics waste is a scourge to our environment".


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