5 key announcements from the Spring statement

Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond leaves Downing Street to deliver the Spring statement

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Today the chancellor of the exchequer delivered his Spring statement.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Philip Hammond revealed that the female employment was at its highest since records began, and that a further 600,000 jobs are set to be created in the UK by 2023.

Employment stats aside, here are the other key announcements that were made today.

 

Knife crime

Floral tributes left at the site of a fatal stabbing in London

The chancellor has pledged £100 million to tackle the issue of rising knife crime.

The money will be made available immediately to police forces in England, and will cover the cost of additional overtime targeted on knife crime.

So far this year there have been 39 fatal stabbings across the UK.

 

Affordable housing

A row of terraced houses in London

A new £3 billion Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme will be set up to support the delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

And £717 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund will be allocated to unlock up to 37,000 homes in West London, Cheshire, Didcot and Cambridge.

 

National supercomputer

A new supercomputer hosted at Edinburgh University will be allocated £79 million.

The ARCHER 2 will provide researchers who use it with a fivefold increase in computing capacity compared the current high-performance computing platform, ARCHER (Academic Research Computing High End Resource).

The machine is used by researchers who study problems with a global impact, such as climate science and aerospace, and it is hoped it will aide discoveries in medicine.

 

Free sanitary products for schools

The move is an effort to tackle period poverty

Secondary schools and colleges in England will receive free sanitary products from September.

The move comes after concerns from headteachers that some girls are missing school because they are unable to afford sanitary products.

However, no further details about the quantity of the products schools will get has been revealed yet.

Announcing the funding, Hammond said: "I congratulate those honourable members who have campaigned on this issue on all sides of the House, and the education secretary will announce further details in due course."

 

Climate change

UK school pupils stage a strike over climate change

New homes built in 2025 will have to adhere to the newly-announced Future Homes Standard, which will ensure properties have low-carbon heating and are energy efficient.

The new standard builds on the Prime Minister's Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge mission to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.

Alongside the Future Homes Standard, Hammond also announced that there will be a global review of the economic value of biodiversity, led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta from Cambridge University.

The announcements follow increasing pressure on the government to act on climate change, with school pupils staging a national strike in February over global warming fears.