Chancellor’s Autumn Statement vows to make the economy ‘resilient’

Chancellor Phillip Hammond making a statement in the House of Commons

Chancellor Phillip Hammond making a statement in the House of Commons - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Philip Hammond vowed to make the economy “resilient” for leaving the EU as he outlined the government’s economic plans in his first and last-ever Autumn Statement.

The chancellor promises “fiscal headroom” to support the economy through Brexit - while also pledging billions of pounds to new infrastructure and housing.

He also told MPs in his statement that the Brexit vote “will change the course of Britain’s history”, even though forecasts point to higher borrowing and slower growth.

Mr Hammond also stated that the UK’s deficit would no longer be cleared by 2020 - with a target of “as early as possible” afterwards instead.

“We’re a great nation, bold in our vision, confident in our strengths and determined in our ambition to build a country that works for everyone,” he said.

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“My announcements today lower taxes on working people and boost wages.”

Mr Hammond said the government would prioritise “additional high-value investment” on infrastructure, which would be funded by additional borrowing until 2021.

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Adding a new £23bn “national productivity investment fund” to spend on innovation and infrastructure in next year five years would tackle the UK’s “shocking” productivity gap with other countries.

£2.3bn will be used to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas and another £1.4bn to deliver an extra 40,000 affordable homes.

While, he also announced letting agent fees for tenants in rented accommodation will be banned “as soon as possible” in his announcement.

Another big talking point will be the rise of the National Living Wage from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 an hour from April, as well the income tax threshold being raised to £11,500 from £11,000 and the higher rate threshold also rising to £50,000 by the end of parliament.

Insurance premium tax is set to rise from 10 percent to 12 percent in June 2017.

The Department for Transport’s budget will be given an extra £1.1bn for English local transport networks, £220m to reduce traffic pinch points, more than £1bn for digital infrastructure and £1.8bn from Local Growth Fund to English regions.

Meanwhile in business, spending will double the UK’s export funding capacity, with £400m going into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank to unlock £1bn in finance for growing firms.

Fuel duty rise was also cancelled for a seventh year in succession, saving average car drivers £130 and van drivers £350 a year.

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