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Spring Statement: OBR revises up GDP; Inflation to fall to 2%

13 March 2018

Matt Tooth, chief commercial officer, LendInvest, said: "The absence of a major policy shakeup in the chancellor's statement today is precisely what the industry needed".

The OBR predict that debt as a share of GDP will peak at 85.6 per cent in 2017-18 then fall to 85.5 per cent in 2018-19, then 85.1 per cent, 82.1 per cent the year after, 78.3 per cent in 2022, and finally 77.9 per cent in 2022-23.

Mr Hammond has said he will not make tax and spend announcements in the statement, which he insists is no longer a "fiscal event" after he shifted the Budget from its traditional springtime slot to the autumn. True indicators are people being treated in hospital corridors & foodbank use shooting up.

Hailing a modest improvement in economic forecasts, and what he called a "turning point" in the public finances, the chancellor sought to shrug off his image as the cabinet's Eeyore, insisting he was "at my most positively Tigger-like".

Mr Hammond criticised Mr McDonnell for his "bully boys" remark and later said of Labour's economic approach: "Every now and again the mask slips and we get a glimpse of the sinister ideology that lies beneath, an ideology that would wreck our economy if he ever gets anywhere near the controls".

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"Existing plans alone are not enough", he added.

Mr Hammond said some businesses were avoiding paying VAT on sales, but he added that others were simply unfamiliar with paying taxes as this had been done on their behalf. "What they've done is they've shifted it on to the public services his colleagues are responsible for".

Mr Hammond announced that London would receive and additional £1.7 billion to deliver 26,000 affordable homes - including homes for social rent, taking the total number to more than 116,000 by the end of 2021/22.

He also said the Department for Education would release up to £80 million to help small businesses with the apprenticeship levy.

Hammond's Treasury deputy Liz Truss said there would be "no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes".

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The November budget also saw stamp duty scrapped for first-time buyers purchasing properties under £300,000.

Chancellor Philip Hammond set out his vision of an "outward-looking, free-trading nation, one that is confident that our best days lie ahead of us".

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman, said that the "amazing results" of special schools and alternative provision settings were "at risk if we don't secure more high-needs funding for schools".

Mr Hammond concluded his speech at 12.58pm.

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Spring Statement: OBR revises up GDP; Inflation to fall to 2%