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Chancellor Delivers 'Non-Event' Spring Statement

Chancellor Delivers 'Non-Event' Spring Statement

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his first Spring Statement on Tuesday lunchtime after he announced he was moving the budget to the Autumn back in 2016.

The Spring Statement, which was followed by a debate was described by many as a 'non-event' Hammond announced plans back in 2016 to move the budget to the Autumn, meaning the Autumn Statement became the Spring Statement. In 2017, the UK had two budgets while the clock reset.

The Statement focused on new predictions from the Independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which show the UK economy is growing slightly faster than anticipated back in November and borrowing is down. Growth will be 1.4% this year, 0.1% higher than originally forecast.

The speech featured no red box, no official document and no major changes to taxation or other parts of the economy. 

Labour accused Mr Hammond of "complacency" and a "missed opportunity" to ease pressures on public services. The Chancellor spoke of a "light at the end of the tunnel" after years of belt-tightening, as he rejected his "Eeyore" nickname. 

As part of the statement, the Chancellor called for evidence on encouraging cashless and digital payments. It is also thought that 1p, 2p and £50 denominations of currency could be scrapped.

 

For more on the Spring Statement, follow @speakerpolitics.

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