ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Heads up on the UK Spring Statement due later in the day

13 March 2018, 06:36 | Kelvin Horton

GETTYPhilip Hammond is considering a green tax on chewing gum

Philip Hammond

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Hammond has finished his Spring Statement, saying he wants the United Kingdom to be a force for good and a country everyone can be proud of.

Philip Hammond has said there is "light at the end of the tunnel" for the United Kingdom economy, with the government's official forecaster upgrading short-term growth projections and predicting falls in inflation, debt and borrowing - but warning of the growing impact from Brexit in future years.

And referring to the Chancellor's Eeyore reference, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne joked that Mr Hammond was "talking Pooh".

'That is a very important moment for us but we are still in the tunnel at the moment, ' he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

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?"

"For eight years they've been ignored by this government".

"The Chancellor has proclaimed today that there's light at the end of the tunnel".

The OBR has released a statement explaining its revised forecasts for United Kingdom economic growth.

He added: "The reality is that the Chancellor and his predecessor have not tackled the deficit".

"The current misalignment between where digital businesses are taxed and where they create value threatens to undermine the fairness, sustainability and public acceptability of the corporate tax system", he said.

He also raised concerns over funding for schools, the emergency services and local councils.

He described the statement as "another missed opportunity", telling MPs: "People know now that austerity was a political choice, not an economic necessity".

"We are building a Britain fit for the future and an economy that works for everyone", Hammond said.

The Chancellor added that since 2016 he had set out a plan to "unleash our creators and our innovators, our inventors and our discoverers".

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.

He made the prediction after Tory Jeremy Quin (Horsham) said he welcomed the "improvements we have seen in productivity over the last six months".

This, it says, is despite the United Kingdom going from being one of the best-performing economies between 2013 and 2016, to being the worst performing economy in the G7.

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