Spring Statement: UK GDP revised up for 2018

You could be taxed if you spit chewing gum out in the street

Ministers hope chewing gum will be considered alongside other environmentall damaging plastics

The Chancellor ruled out extra spending in tomorrow's Spring Statement, but said there was "light at the end of the tunnel".

It was revealed that the Chancellor told Cabinet during their meeting earlier today that the slightly stronger productivity growth seen over the last two quarters was the key to increasing wages. Announced in the 2017 Autumn budget, new diesel cars have to meet the Real Driving Emissions limits for nitrogen oxide to stay within their current tax bands.

While Hammond was arguably making more of the upgrade than it's worth, we could hardly have expected him to do anything different.

In spite of the weakening growth outlook, Hammond described himself as "positively Tigger-like" in his optimism, and said he "would have capacity for further spending" if the economy continues to grow.

Philip Hammond to present his Spring Statement - so what's in it?

The figure is now thought likely to come in around £43 billion, rather than the £49.9 billion forecast in November, delivering a knock-on boost to subsequent years. Growth in 2017 was 1.7%, compared with the 1.5% forecast by the OBR a year ago.

Debt will peak at 85.6 per cent this year, and then fall to 77.9 per cent in 2022 and 2023.

The chancellor said the latest estimates, which show public debt as a share of GDP falling for the next five years, showed the country was at a turning point, a decade on from the financial crisis.

"The Chancellor has proclaimed today that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Our economy is created to fail people - and it needs an overhaul".

"We are building a Britain fit for the future and an economy that works for everyone", Hammond said.

"Existing plans alone are not enough", he added. The consultation will remain open until 5 June 2018. "What they've done is they've shifted it on to the public services his colleagues are responsible for".

He also issued a call for evidence on how to help the UK's least productive businesses.

Mr Hammond said that review would be used to allocate the money to different services in 2020-21 and beyond.

On housing, he said there is an investment programme of £44bn. Some 215,000 new homes are also scheduled to be built in the West Midlands by 2031. Either way, Hammond delivered a fine political speech.

His deputy Liz Truss said there would be no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes.

'The stamp duty concessions have definitely prompted more interest among first-time buyers, who are often taking the place of investors at the lower end of the market.

He said: "I remind the House that the party opposite voted against it". "As a nation we did it in 2017 and it is our business to do it again".

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman, said that the "amazing results" of special schools and alternative provision settings were "at risk if we don't secure more high-needs funding for schools".

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