Britain sees better than expected growth in 2018

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Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a series of measures created to help the pub industry in his latest Spring Statement.

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He claimed there was a "light at the end of the tunnel" for the United Kingdom economy and predicted falling inflation, debt, and borrowing, but there was little to celebrate.

Two leading education unions have told the chancellor to allocate more money for SEND pupils in his spring statement today.

The Office for Budget Responsiblity has upgraded its forecasts for United Kingdom growth to 1.5% for 2018, slightly above the 1.4% it predicted in November.

The borrowing forecast for 2017-18 is £45bn, £13bn less than forecast a year ago and £4bn less than Autumn forecast.

The new 2018 forecast however remains a slowdown compared with expansion of 1.7 per cent last year, and followed a gloomy OECD warning that Brexit would crimp growth over the coming years.

"Our research shows that in the East of England we are predicted to grow at an annual GVA growth rate of 1.7% to 2020".

In the table, you can see inflation predictions from the Spring Statement alongside forecasts from the Autumn Budget.

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John McDonnell accused Philip Hammond of "complacency", saying he "hasn't he listened to the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the police officers, the carers and even his own councillors?" The 'Cash and Digital Payments in the Digital Economy' consultation paper will be open until early June to investigate the transition between traditional cash and digital payments and the impact on specific sectors, regions and demographics.

It comes as the number of ATMs in the United Kingdom is under threat from proposed increases to interchange fees.

To counter the threat of plastics to the environment, the government has launched a consultation into how to use the tax system to encourage the responsible use of plastic.

"We need an urgent review of the disproportionate rates many venues and studios face if we are to maintain our vibrant and diverse music scene".

In responses to the housing issue in the United Kingdom the Chancellor promised London would receive an extra £1.67billion for 27,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

He said: "But we will continue to prepare for all eventualities and today ... the chief secretary is publishing the departmental allocations of over £1.5bn of Brexit preparation funding for 2018/19".

Mr Hammond also said that some 60,000 first-time buyers have benefited from the abolition of stamp duty on homes under £300,000, a policy which was also announced - and came into force - on the date of the 2017 Autumn Budget.

Turning to the housing market, the Chancellor said the government was working with 44 areas on their bids into the £4.1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund, while the Housing Growth Partnership, which provides financial support for small housebuilders, will be more than doubled to £220m. All of these objectives could have been achieved by Mr Hammond if he had had the desire, and determination, to do so.

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