Chancellor delivers first Autumn Statement

Philip Hammond has delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor - and laid bare the economic gloom facing the nation.

Forecasts revealed sweeping downgrades to UK growth and a sharp rise in Government borrowing, abandoning his predecessor's plan to balance the books by 2020.

Key measures included:

  • Fuel duty freeze, a 30p rise in minimum wage and measures to ease cuts to Universal Credit
  • Income free tax allowance to rise to £12,500 by 2020 with higher tax rate threshold raised to £50,000
  • £23bn investment on innovation and infrastructure over five years
  • £3.7bn total housing spend to build 100,000 new high-demand homes and 40,000 more affordable homes, plus ban on upfront fees charged by letting agents
  • Hammond also abolished the Autumn Statement, saying the main Budget statement will now move from the spring to the autumn

But the impact of Brexit on future public finances has led the Office for Budget Responsibility to forecast a £220bn increase in the national debt by 2020.

This is worse than feared, according to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston.

Live updates

Hammond scraps Autumn in favour of Spring Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond raised smiles with his announcement of his abolition of the Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced he is abolishing the Autumn Statement and moving the main budget statement outside of the Budget from the spring to the autumn.

"This Autumn Statement will be my last," he told MPs before clarifying he would still return to deliver two major statements as mandated by Parliament.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship responded:

Hammond unveils tax avoidance crackdown measures

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the Government would accrue billions from new tax crackdown measures.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said £5 billion will be raised from measures to stop multi-nationals avoiding paying tax.

He announced plans to reduce the difference in tax paid on cash earnings and benefits in kind, which he said was being used by some to pay less tax, along with a host of tax-accruing measures in his first Autumn Statement:

  • Measures to stop multi-nationals avoiding tax to raise £5 billion from the largest businesses in the UK.
  • Measures to crackdown on inappropriate tax avoidance to raise around £2 billion over the forecast period.
  • Government to raise £630 million by removing tax benefits of disguised earnings for the self-employed and employers.

Other key tax measures announced included:

  • Rural Rate Relief to be increased to 100% giving small businesses a tax break worth up to £2900.
  • Employee and employer National Insurance thresholds to be equalised at £157 per week from April 2017, at a maximum cost to business of £7.18 per employee a year.
  • Insurance premium tax to rise from 10% to 12% next June.

You can watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page


Hammond announces public spending plans

Philip Hammond confirmed £3.5 billion efficiency savings announced at the Budget would still be delivered.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced public spending will be 40% of GDP, a drop of 5% from 2010.

He delivered the following spending announcements to MPs:

  • Departmental spending plans set out in 2015 Spending Review to remain in place, with expenditure to grow in line with inflation in 2021/22.
  • The £3.5 billion of efficiency savings announced at the Budget to be delivered in full.
  • Corporation tax will be reduced to 17% as planned.
  • The Government will meet commitments to protect budgets for key public services, defence, overseas aid and the pension "triple lock" until the end of this Parliament.
  • For the oil and gas sector, the Carbon Price Support will be capped until 2020 and business rates reductions worth £6.7 billion will be implemented.

You can watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page

Chancellor: MoJ to hire 2,500 additional prison officers

The Ministry of Justice has been given permission to employ a further 2,500 prison officers "to tackle urgent prison safety issues," Philip Hammond has announced in his first Autumn Statement.

Peston: Hammond 'bigging up' UK in Autumn Statement

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston and Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship have reacted to the early announcements from Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement:

  • You can also watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page

Chancellor announces £23bn Productivity Investment Fund

Philip Hammond delivering the Autumn Statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over next five years.

Setting out his first Autumn Statement, Mr Hammond said the fund will "directly contribute" to raising Britain's productivity.

Raising productivity is essential for the high-wage, high-skill economy that will deliver higher living standards for working people.

– Chancellor Philip Hammond

The new funding commitments include:

  • New research, development and innovation investment rising to an extra £2bn per year by 20-21
  • £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to deliver infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand
  • A further £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 additional affordable homes
  • An additional £1.1bn of investment in English local transport networks

Mr Hammond also announced a programme of major road schemes in the north as part of a strategy for "addressing productivity barriers in the Northern Powerhouse".

Regional investments will include:

  • £1.8bn from the Local Growth Fund to the English regions
  • 556m to Local Enterprise Partnerships in the North of England
  • £542m to the Midlands and East of England
  • £683m to LEPs in the South West, South East and London


Borrowing to fall but surplus to remain beyond 2020

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced new borrowing figures.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced rising Government borrowing figures as he confirmed it no longer plans to deliver a surplus in public finances by 2020.

He said Government borrowing will fall from £68.2bn this year to £21.9bn in 2019-20, followed by £20.7bn and £17.2bn in 2021-22.

ITV Economics Editor Noreena Hertz tweeted:

The new figures show a widening gap between the planned forecasts delivered by his predecessor George Osborne back in March.

March forecast of Government borrowing in 2016.
New forecast of Government borrowing in 2016.
March forecast of Government borrowing in 2017.
New forecast of Government borrowing in 2017.

OBR slashes 2017 growth forecast from 2.2% to 1.4%

The Office for Budget Responsibility has slashed the GDP growth forecast for 2017 from 2.2% to 1.4%, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.

Mr Hammond confirmed the updated forecasts for economic growth as he set out his first Autumn Statement.

Today’s OBR forecast is for growth to be 2.1% in 2016; higher than forecast in March. In 2017 the OBR forecasts growth to slow to 1.4%, which they attribute to lower investment and weaker consumer demand. As the effects of uncertainty diminish, the OBR forecasts growth recovering to 1.7% in 2018, 2.1% in 2019 and 2020, and 2% in 2021.

– Chancellor Philip Hammond
  • You can also watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page

Chancellor prepares for 'new chapter' in Britain's history

Chancellor Philip Hammond has left Downing Street to deliver his first Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said his first Autumn Statement "is focused on preparing and supporting the economy as we begin writing a new chapter in our country's history".

He sent out a tweet shortly before leaving 11 Downing Street to head to the House of Commons.

Mr Hammond will deliver the Statement after Prime Minister's Questions.

  • Watch the Autumn Statement live on our Facebook page from 12.30pm.
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