Expectations in the face of tomorrow’s Autumn Statement

by Noemi Distefano

The Autumn Statement will be announced tomorrow. Photo credit: Robin Gillie

Tomorrow at 12.30 am, the Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver first Autumn Statement to the Parliament in London.

The Autumn Statement is one of two big economic statements made by the government every year. It is based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) for the economy and public finances.
The first Autumn Statement was held in London in 1982, although people used to refer to it as a Spending Round.
Under the last Labour government, it was called the Pre-Budget Report – George Osborne changed the name back to the Autumn Statement in 2010.

This year, it will be the government’s first opportunity to outline priorities concerning taxes and spending after the Brexit vote.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond will also update MPs how they plan to find extra funds for investment in roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure projects.

Speaking to reporters in Washington last October, he said:

“When I say investment, I do mean investment. I do not mean spending in the way some previous chancellors have used the word. I will be looking for investment in the sense that a businessman can understand the word.”

Rumours suggest that Mr Hammond has identified several potential areas where funding could increase:

•Borrowing this year is estimated to hit £60.5billion, a £5bn increase over George Osborne’s predictions
•£2 billion will be allocated to investment in Research and Development (R&D) by the end of this Parliament
•Roads and railway will be given a £1.3bn boost to ease congestion
•25,000 new homes will be built by 2020 and up to 225,000 in future years