Budget 2017: As it happened

Iain Withers

Source: Paul Toeman

Schools and infrastructure funding, plus an overhaul of technical education expected

13.32pm

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.

13.25pm

£2bn extra for social care over the next three years

13.23pm

Confirms £500m a year additional funding. Thousands of technical courses distilled down to just 15.

13.21pm

He turns to T-levels. Technical education in the UK is near the bottom of the international league, he says.

13.20pm

Additional investment for existing schools too - additional £216m over next three years, taking investment in schools to £10bn in this parliament

13.19pm

110 new free schools on top of current commitment to 500. Including specialist maths schools

13.17pm

Hammond has agreed with the mayor of London to devolve more power to him

13.16pm

£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

13.12pm

Hammond allocates £300m to support the brightest and best research talent in STEM subjects, including research into driverless cars

13.10pm

Another joke! Hammond says Jeremy Corbyn is so far down a black hole that even Steven Hawking has disowned him.

13.01pm

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.

12.52pm

There are also some new reliefs offered - including for pubs - amounting to £435m of cuts to business rates.

12.51pm

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.

12.48pm

The Treasury has reviewed the R&D tax credit system - to make the UK more attractive, they will reduce administrative burdens.

12.45pm

Hammond says borrowing is forecast to be £16.4bn lower than forecast in the autumn.

12.43pm

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.

12.40pm

The OBR has upgraded its forecasts for growth for next year from 1.4% to 2%

12.39pm

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.

12.38pm

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.

12.37pm

Hammond begins… “This Budget sets out our plan to prepare Britain for a brighter future”.

12.20pm

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.

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