Spring Statement 2019: Business as usual?

14th March 2019

Once again, Chancellor Philip Hammond has demonstrated his commitment to the principle of the Spring Statement as a low-key event, at least in terms of tax and public spending announcements.

Hammond stuck in large part to summarising key points from the updated economic forecast from the Offce for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Though he presented the numbers with a fourish, the OBR was mildly pessimistic in its own presentation.

The Chancellor used his 35-minute speech to hammer home the likely economic impact of leaving the EU without a deal - "significant disruption in the short and medium-term and a smaller, less prosperous economy in the long-term".

He also took the opportunity to reiterate that planned investment in public services - schools, hospitals, infrastructure - was on the assumption of an orderly exit from the EU, and that it would be back to the drawing board otherwise.

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