Hammond makes spring statement
Chancellor Philip Hammond earlier today delivered his spring statement, stating that improved financial forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) showed “light at the end of the tunnel’ for national finances and an easing of austerity.
- Despite ongoing calls for additional funding to local government, the statement gave no indication to whether this would be a priority moving forward
- The budget deficit for the year is predicted to come in at £45.2bn, down £4.7bn from the November forecast
- According to OBR figures, productivity was stronger than expected. Growth for 2018 is expected to come in at 1.5%, slowing in 2019 and picking up ‘modestly’ for the following three years
- On course to meet the Chancellors borrowing target of no more than 2% of national income in 2020 – 2021 – with roughly £15bn of leeway possibly earmarked for increases in spending on propriety public services
- The OBR’s background papers confirm the final amount the UK expects to pay to divorce from the EU as 41.4bn euros (£37.1bn)
Potential future policies:
- A reduction in tax on for the least polluting vans to “help the great British white van driver go green”
- A possible tax on single use plastic
- A new ‘tech tax’ looking at how firms like Google and Facebook are taxed
- How online platforms can help their users to pay the right amount of tax
- A call for evidence “on whether the use of non-agricultural red diesel tax relief contributes to poor air quality in urban areas”
- Inviting cities across England to bid for a share of £840m to deliver on “local transport priorities”.
- A plan to make the least productive businesses learn from the most productive
- Measures to end late payments for firms
- The future of cash and digital payments
To learn more about the future of public spending please attend the Public Sector Show on 26 June 2018.