Budget 2017: Phillip Hammond to unveil "positive assessment" of UK prospects after Brexit

Chancellor Phillip Hammond to unveil "positive assessment" of UK economic prospects in the new Budget

The Chancellor is due to unveil the budget today

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A positive assessment of post-Brexit economic prospects is expected from Phillip Hammond as he delivers his first Budget as Chancellor today (Wednesday March 8).

While announcing more austerity to reduce the deficit, the Chancellor is due to tell the Commons he’s ready to take more “difficult decisions” on raising taxes and cutting spending.

Mr Hammond’s plans to boost education have already been widely publicised ahead of today's announcement. He will lay out his plans to provide a boost of £500 million for England’s schools, with an additional £320 million for up to 140 new free schools, lending weight to Prime Minister Theresa May’s promise of new grammar schools.

But he is also due to explain how the budget will set Britain up post-Brexit, notably the “war chest”, another aspect of the budget which has been widely publicised in the media.

The Chancellor made it clear one of his key focuses with the budget was to ensure there would be enough “gas in the tank” as a backup for the coming negotiations.

The warning of potential economic turbulence came from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which predicted UK growth could fall to only 1% in 2018 amid “uncertainty about the United Kingdom's future trading relations with its partners."