Chancellor confirms three-year Spending Review imminent subject to a Brexit deal

15 March, 2019, 18:07 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Chancellor Philip Hammond addressing Parliament during his Spring Statement

For, despite Mr Hammond's bullishness about the robust of the economy compared to other G7 countries, the Chancellor could not gloss over the fact that economic growth this year has been reduced to 1.2 per cent - a significant downgrade - and that future improvements to the funding of schools and other key services, frequently and vociferously demanded by MPs of all parties, are contingent on a Brexit resolution of sorts.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies claims that Philip Hammond and the Treasury need to perform an "urgent" spending review, following yesterday's Spring Statement.

The chancellor has announced he will launch a "full three-year Spending Review" before the summer break as long as Brexit is agreed and the "uncertainty lifted" in the next few weeks.

Notwithstanding sluggish growth around the world, Britain is expanding faster than Germany and our public finances are improving.

Paul Johnson, the director of the IFS, said: "It's not really a deal dividend, it's if things go as planned".

"I hoped we would do that last night, but I am confident that we, as a House, will do it over the coming weeks".

British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed on Tuesday that parliament's approval of the withdrawal agreement she has reached with Brussels will deliver a fiscal "Brexit dividend".

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"Leaving with no deal would mean significant disruption in the short and medium term and a smaller, less prosperous economy in the long term, than if we leave with a deal", he said. "That is not what the British people voted for in June 2016".

Lawmakers were expected to vote later on Wednesday against a leaving the European Union without a transition deal, then vote on Thursday on seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

Responding to the Spring Statement, chairman of the LGA Lord Porter said: "The government's plan to publish the Spending Review alongside the Autumn Budget this year could exacerbate the funding challenges facing councils and will severely hamper their ability to plan ahead for next year and beyond".

MPs were expected to vote later today against a no-deal Brexit and then vote on Thursday in favour of the government seeking a delay to Britain's departure, now scheduled for March 29.

"Higher unemployment; lower wages; higher prices in the shops".

Hammond said he now had 26.6 billion pounds of fiscal "headroom" that he has earmarked as a potential war chest for helping Britain's economy - for example, via extra spending or tax cuts - up from a previous estimate of 15.4 billion pounds.

But lawmakers still rejected her deal, sending it to a second defeat since January.

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