Chancellor to launch consultation on single-use plastics tax

Chancellor to launch consultation on single-use plastics tax

Hammond planned to announce a pared back statement - rather than a full-blown Budget announcement - after the United Kingdom faced criticism from worldwide bodies for having two big "fiscal events" per year.

Mr Hammond said there was still work to be done, but the Government would always take a balanced approach to reducing the debt, investing in public services and keeping taxes low, said the PM's spokesman.

Matt Tooth, chief commercial officer, LendInvest, said: "The absence of a major policy shakeup in the chancellor's statement today is precisely what the industry needed".

The Office for Budget Responsibility has revised its economic growth forecast for 2018 to 1.5% from a previous estimate of 1.4%.

He accused Mr Hammond of not listening to teachers, doctors and nurses.

"There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel", Hammond said in parliament, turning his gaze to John McDonnell, Labour's would-be chancellor of the exchequer. Still, the forecasts for 2019 and 2020 were left unchanged at 1.3 percent, while 2021's was cut to 1.4 percent.

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Mr Hammond said the tech sector employed more than 1.5 million people and accounted for £6.8bn of investment in 2016, 50% higher than any other European country. If these were to be improved, on the one hand it would keep property prices in check and on the other it would generate real benefits for not just the housing market but for the economy as a whole.

Inflation hit 3.1% in November 2017, but the OBR predicted it had reached its peak.

The new forecasts for net borrowing as a percentage of GDP are 1.8% for 2018/19, 1.6% for 2019/20, 1.3% for 2020/21, 1.1% for 2021/22 and 0.9% for 2022/23.

Some of the UK's most influential trade bodies have welcomed Philip Hammond's commitment to bolstering businesses in his Spring Statement, but have also warned that more still needs to be done to support companies as the United Kingdom hurtles towards Brexit.

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.

"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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