Spring statement 2018: the chancellor's key points at a glance

Spring statement 2018: the chancellor's key points at a glance

He said Mr Hammond "must use today to act and end austerity" and warned him against filling his statement with "boastful self-praise and not a recognition of the devastation faced by many in our country".

"Our public services are at breaking point and many of our local councils are near bankruptcy", he said.

The Chancellor also talked about the need to reduce plastic waste, how the tax system can drive technological change, and £20m of funds available now to businesses and universities to stimulate new thinking on the subject.

The debt forecast is almost 1% lower than in November, Mr Hammond said.

Hammond said the education secretary will release up to £80m to help small firms take on apprentices.

Mr Hammond said his deputy Elizabeth Truss would publish the departmental allocation of more than £1.5 billion of Brexit preparation funding for 2018-19.

On housing, he said there is an investment programme of £44bn. He insisted he had committed £60bn to public spending, with £4bn going into the NHS in 2018/19 alone, praising staff for their work during the recent winter crisis.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed what shape the United Kingdom economy is in a year on from Brexit.

Meanwhile, think-tank OECD has raised its growth forecast for the United Kingdom economy to 1.3 per cent in 2018 from a previous estimate of 1.2 per cent.

The world's sixth-biggest economy would grow a bit more slowly than previously thought in the following two years, by 1.4 and 1.5 per cent respectively in 2021 and 2022. The body left its forecasts unchanged for 2019 at 1.3%.

It was a line he repeated from the despatch box as he gave MPs his biannual update on the nation's finances, confirming that the OBR had revised its forecast upwards slightly.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that London will receive £1.67 billion to start building a further 27,000 affordable homes by the end of 2021-22.

"Today's brief address will likely see the first full analysis of Brexit's impact on United Kingdom public finances, good news in terms of lower public borrowing and economic growth higher (but not necessarily an end to austerity), as well as announcement of a range of consultations on issues such as tax for small businesses, inheritance tax for individuals and a levy on "single use" plastics", said Accendo Markets analysts Mike van Dulken & Henry Croft.

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