Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Spring Statement 2018: Further details on plans to tackle United Kingdom housing crisis

Spring Statement 2018: Further details on plans to tackle United Kingdom housing crisis

"And while the budget deficit looks likely to come in nearly £5 billion lower this year than we expected in November, the explanations for this imply smaller downward revisions for future years".

The Pound to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate was trending higher at the start of Tuesday's European trading as investors awaited the Spring Statement delivered by Chancellor to the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.

Hammond has finished his Spring Statement, saying he wants the United Kingdom to be a force for good and a country everyone can be proud of.

He said he was on course to meet a target of bringing the debt-to-GDP ratio down each year, saying the OBR saw it falling to just under 78 percent of GDP by the 2022/23 fiscal year from an expected peak of 85.6 percent now.

It's expected that he will say borrowing is down - possibly by as much as £10bn - and that growth is up.

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

Furthermore, the government has said that it is working with 44 areas which have submitted bids to the Housing Infrastructure fund, to make sure that only those homes that are needed are being built.

The November economic growth outlook was less than inspiring, with growth in 2018 forecast to reach 1.4% while 2017 was expected to grow by only 1.5%.

Sarah Hewin, chief economist for Europe at Standard Chartered, said the latest forecasts announced by Hammond looked sub-par:"The surprise for many people is how little has's a pretty weak trajectory".

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a pared-down spring statement on Tuesday which said the United Kingdom economy is faring better than predicted.

In his first spring statement to the House of Commons, the Chancellor revealed that the Office for Budget Responsibility now expects GDP growth in 2018 to be 1.5%, rising from the estimate of 1.4% at November's budget.

The medium-term forecasts were less upbeat, however, with the OBR predicting economic growth of 1.3% next year (unchanged from last November's forecast), 1.3% in 2020 (also unchanged), 1.4% in 2021 (down from 1.5%) and 1.5% in 2022 (down from 1.6%).

In the table, you can see inflation predictions from the Spring Statement alongside forecasts from the Autumn Budget.

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

At the weekend Hammond said: "Single-use plastics waste is a scourge to our environment".

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