On Tuesday 13th March The Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, presented his first Spring Statement to Parliament. On the surface, it seems fairly positive, with Hammond forecasting higher projections for growth and predicting falling inflation and borrowing.
Hammond promised that there was “light at the end of the tunnel” for the economy and that “Britain’s best days lie ahead of us”. Certainly an upbeat statement from the Chancellor! After years of austerity, are we finally going to be able to turn up the spending?
Let’s take a look at the key points that are driving this cheery economic outlook:
- Forecast of a 1.5% rise in GDP in 2018, growing continuously up to 2022
- Employment growth predicted over the next 5 years with over 500,000 more people with a job
- Borrowing is forecast to be at £42.2 billion in 2018 – that’s £4.7 billion lower than forecast last November.
- Inflation is expected to fall back to the 2% target in the next 12 months
Investment in Housing
- An investment programme of £44 billion to raise housing supply by 300,000 is still on track for a mid-2020s delivery.
- 60,000 first time buyers have already benefitted from the Stamp Duty relief announced in the autumn budget.
- £1.67bn given to London to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by end of 2021-22
- English cities invited to bid for remaining £840m from regional transport fund
A Step up in Connectivity
- £95 million allocated to providing full-fibre broadband for 13 areas across the UK.