Six things we've learned from the spring statement


In comments released in The Sun on Sunday (11 March) in advance of the full statement tomorrow - which in contrast to previous Spring Budgets will be a pared-down affair, as the government moves towards once-yearly Autumn Budgets from 2019 - Hammond announced that he will be launching a call for evidence from stakeholders on how fiscal measures can be used to tackle the issue of plastic waste.

The government's slender majority meant Hammond had limited room for manoeuvre and scant political cover for any missteps, meaning he was always likely to make few changes despite calls from Labour and some Tories to ease nearly a decade of austerity.

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.

"The chancellor says there is light at the end of the tunnel".

It was revealed that the Chancellor told Cabinet during their meeting earlier today that the slightly stronger productivity growth seen over the last two quarters was the key to increasing wages.

Mr Hammond said this makes the economy vulnerable to future shocks and places "a significant burden on future generations". True indicators are people being treated in hospital corridors & foodbank use shooting up.

And after the Chancellor compared Labour to gloomy cartoon character Eeyore and himself to the more optimistic Tigger, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne joked that Mr Hammond was "talking Pooh".

The Chancellor added that since 2016 he had set out a plan to "unleash our creators and our innovators, our inventors and our discoverers". "We choose to champion those who create the jobs and the wealth on which our prosperity and our public services both depend, not to demonise them".

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Business leaders largely welcomed the move, but also said that it was important that the Chancellor doesn't let politics get in the way of these plans, especially as the United Kingdom heads towards Brexit.

But Yorkshire cities were invited to compete across England for £840m to improve transport.

On housing, he said there is an investment programme of £44bn. Some 215,000 new homes are also scheduled to be built in the West Midlands by 2031.

Responding to the Chancellor in the chamber, McDonnell asked: "Haven't you listened to the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the police officers, the carers and even your own councillors?"

Hammond said the education secretary will release up to £80m to help small firms take on apprentices. He will also set out how departments will divide up £1.5 billion for Brexit preparations.

He said: "I remind the House that the party opposite voted against it".

His speech will most likely begin at 12.30pm and last less than half hour.