Source: Paul Toeman
Schools and infrastructure funding, plus an overhaul of technical education expected
Hammond says the government is continuing with its plan to improve the economy.
It wants to make Britain “the best place in the world to do business”.
He says the government wants to build a stronger, fairer Britain.
And with that he’s done.
£2bn extra for social care over the next three years
Confirms £500m a year additional funding. Thousands of technical courses distilled down to just 15.
He turns to T-levels. Technical education in the UK is near the bottom of the international league, he says.
Additional investment for existing schools too - additional £216m over next three years, taking investment in schools to £10bn in this parliament
110 new free schools on top of current commitment to 500. Including specialist maths schools
Hammond has agreed with the mayor of London to devolve more power to him
£90m for North and £20m for Midlands to help pinch points on national road network
Launching £690m competition to tackle urban congestion
Midlands Engine strategy to be launched tomorrow
£350m extra for Scotland, £200m extra for Wales and £100m extra for Northern Ireland
Hammond allocates £300m to support the brightest and best research talent in STEM subjects, including research into driverless cars
Another joke! Hammond says Jeremy Corbyn is so far down a black hole that even Steven Hawking has disowned him.
Hammond says Treasury to raise an extra £145m by 2021-22 through a national insurance tax rise for the self-employed.
To make the system “fairer”, he says that NI contributions will rise for the self-employed by 1% to 10% from April next year.
That will then rise again to 11% in 2019.
A large proportion of workers in construction are classed as self-employed and the implications of this will be pored over.
There are also some new reliefs offered - including for pubs - amounting to £435m of cuts to business rates.
Hammond acknowledges that this year’s revaluation of business rates on properties - which raises £25bn a year for local government - has put pressure on businesses. The system will be reformed, he says.
The Treasury has reviewed the R&D tax credit system - to make the UK more attractive, they will reduce administrative burdens.
Hammond says borrowing is forecast to be £16.4bn lower than forecast in the autumn.
In 2018 growth will slow to 1.6%, before picking up to 1.7% in 2019, 1.9% in 2020, and 2% in 2021. Previous forecasts were 1.4% for 2017, 1.7% for 2018, 2.1% in 2019, 2.1% in 2020 and 2% in 2021.
The OBR has upgraded its forecasts for growth for next year from 1.4% to 2%
There is no room for complacency, he says.
Debt is too high. Too many young people leave school without skills. And too many families are feeling the squeeze.
It’s the last Spring Budget, Hammond reminds us… But he jokes Norman Lamont made the same pledge 24 years ago. But 10 weeks later he was sacked. Met with polite laughter.
Hammond begins… “This Budget sets out our plan to prepare Britain for a brighter future”.
Hello and welcome to Building’s live blog of the 2017 Spring Budget.
It’s an event always keenly watched by the construction industry, and no more so than this year, with the spectre/prospect of Brexit hanging in the air - in this uncertain time the sector is hoping for clarity and spending, particularly as recent surveys have suggested a downturn in the private building sector.
What to expect:
Hammond is due to present the Budget from 12.30pm. Hit F5 or refresh your browser for updates.