Spring Statement, March 2019

In another busy week in Parliament, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement. We’ve provided a summary below of the key headlines relating to young people.

Headlines affecting young people:

  • Hammond says the government will make technology companies “pay their fair share” and protect consumers from online harm.
  • The chancellor says he can announce £3bn in funding to help deliver 30,000 affordable homes.
  • The chancellor says he will make free sanitary products available in secondary schools in England from the next school year to eradicate period poverty.
  • The chancellor says he will make available immediately an additional £100m over the course of the next year, ringfenced to pay for extra police overtime targeted specifically at knife crime, calling the issue an ‘epidemic’

Other points to note:

Growth

  • Forecast of 1.2% growth for 2019.
  • Then 1.4% in 2020, 1.6% in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Borrowing

  • Forecast for borrowing to be £3bn lower in 2018-19 than forecast at the autumn budget.
  • Borrowing forecast to be £29.3bn in 2019-20, then £21.2bn in 2020-21, £17.6bn in 2021-22, £14.4bn in 2022-23 and £13.5bn in 2023-24.

Debt

  • Debt is forecast to be 82.2% as a share of GDP in 2019-20.

Spending Review

  • Hammond says the Treasury will conduct a full spending review before the summer recess, to be concluded before the autumn budget.
  • The chancellor says this is “assuming the Brexit deal is agreed over the next few weeks and the uncertainty hanging over our economy is lifted”.

Brexit

  • Hammond says the £15.4bn headroom in the public finances that could be used in a no-deal Brexit has increased to £26.6bn.
  • The chancellor warns that a no-deal Brexit would cause the economy to be smaller and weaker in future. There would be higher prices for consumers.
  • The chancellor says that from June the government will begin to abolish the need for paper landing cards at UK points of entry, including airports and Eurostar terminals, for countries including the US, Australia, Canada, South Korea and Japan.

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