Philip Hammond has delivered his budget – here are the main points, with political analysis

Hammond’s opening remarks

Peter Walker, political correspondent: Hammond’s starting paragraphs are openly political, and again herald the idea of an end to austerity. This will be, he says, “a budget that shows the perseverance of the British people finally paying off”. It will be, he promises, a budget for “the strivers, the grafters and the carers”. However, at the end of this section, Hammond says that the era of austerity is “finally coming to an end” – note the careful language; not “over”.

Brexit

  • Hammond announces an additional £500m for Brexit preparations in government departments.
  • This comes on top of £2.2bn already announced, and £1.5bn announced at the spring statement.
  • Hammond says he is prepared to upgrade the spring statement to a “full fiscal event” if necessary.

PW: Hammond is trying to not be too gloomy about Brexit – he talks of a “double deal dividend” for the economy if an agreement with the EU is reached – but still promises to be watchful, hence the idea of the spring statement becoming a “full fiscal event” if needed, which sounds very much like code for an emergency budget if there is no deal.

The full article can be found here

Source: The Gaurdian