Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Spring Statement 2018: Plans to build more homes on track

Spring Statement 2018: Plans to build more homes on track

It forecast growth of 1.3% in 2019 and 2020, 1.4% in 2021 and 1.4% in 2022.

The OBR upgraded its prediction for GDP growth in 2018 from 1.4% to 1.5%.

The real meat of the day - the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility - was altogether more anodyne.

"Despite the fact that this wasn't created to announce any new tax or spending plans the Chancellor ranged across a series of policy areas with a raft of new consultations".

Despite revealing the smallest budget deficit since 2002, Mr Hammond had already said the national debt was too high and that it would be wrong to put "every penny" into more public spending. "Stronger public finances give Mr Hammond more firepower to support the economy if the Brexit talks don't go according to plan".

"But we've got to make absolutely sure it isn't the shadow chancellor's train, hurtling out of control in the other direction, towards Labour's next economic trainwreck". "These forecasts are likely to be no less fallible than earlier ones and, despite an improving trend in public borrowing, the burden of debt in the United Kingdom is still at its highest in over 50 years".

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He said: "There was this Mansion House speech by Mrs May, but it was mainly repeating the red lines that we know already".

The wider effects of changes to migration patterns and trade resulting from Brexit will dwarf the size of these divorce payments but Theresa May's government has not yet provided enough detail to allow for reliable modelling of the future U.K. -EU arrangements, the OBR said.

After Theresa May agreed the outline of Britain's withdrawal deal from the European Union in December, the OBR said it now had "sufficient clarity" to estimate the cost of the UK's so-called "divorce bill" at £37.1bn, within the Prime Minister's predicted range of £35bn to £39bn.

"The change from a seven year to a five year, then a four year and finally a three-year revaluation system, only underlines how the government has finally realised how disastrous the seven-year 2017 revaluation was".

"As deficit and debt levels improve, the chancellor must resist calls to pour money into politically-attractive, short-term spending priorities".

However, it warned that this so-called dividend should not be viewed in isolation.

The OBR also lowered its forecast for borrowing in 2017-18 to £45.2bn from £49.9bn predicted in November.

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"It has ... substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public". This content goes viral, normalizing hate speech and shaping public perception.

"It's vital that the Government is willing to listen".

"Add to that the fact that employment levels remain robust, debt is coming down as a proportion of GDP, and it is hard not to come to anything other than the conclusion that growth in United Kingdom plc will be ok".

He told the BBC: "The growth forecasts are about 1.5% growth each year for the next few years which is better than forecasting a recession, but it's an terrible lot worse than you might reasonably expect".

Not really, according to Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The industry is undergoing rapid structural change as technology revolutionises the way we shop and operating costs escalate, at the same time as inflation continues to outpace wage growth; eating into consumers' spending power and keeping overall sales growth low.

Why is this? Partly because the OBR is not willing to revise its gloomy November view on productivity in the light of only a few months better data, and partly because it does not see the United Kingdom economy as being able to grow that fast given some signs of cyclical pressure on prices, spare capacity and wages.

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