Growth forecast slashed in hammond's first and last autumn statement

Growth forecast slashed in hammond's first and last autumn statement

Hammond also announced he is abolishing the Autumn Statement - insisting no other major economy makes hundreds of tax-and-spend changes every year.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, Britain's independent budget forecasters, said gross domestic product would grow by 1.4 percent in 2017, down from an estimate of 2.2 percent made in March, before voters chose to leave the EU.

Philip Hammond has said next year's growth will be below expectations, admitting the Government can no longer deliver a surplus in 2019/20. In 2017 borrowing is expected to be £59 billion, compared with the March forecast of £38.8 billion.

In an attempt to prepare Britain for leaving the EU, Hammond said the government planned to invest 1.0-1.2 per cent of GDP on economic infrastructure from 2020, up from 0.8 per cent now.

Hammond told the House of Commons on Wednesday: "In view of the uncertainty facing the economy, and in the face of slower growth forecasts, we no longer seek to deliver a surplus in 2019-20".

The OBR report also underscored that United Kingdom debt as a percentage of GDP would grow above 90 percent next year, levels not seen since 1964.

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Hammond said he would stick to a business tax road map set out in March and that he would change the tax treatment of past business losses to ensure firms always pay tax in the years they make a profit.

"Should economic growth indeed disappoint relative to the OBR's forecasts, it is of course inevitable that the budget deficit will fail to come down as quickly as hoped, which in turn hardly paints a rosy picture of the outlook for sterling", Buxton says. But his overall message was not radically different from Osborne's as he promised to get rid of the overall budget deficit as quickly as possible in the next parliament starting in 2020. "A credible fiscal policy is essential, but we also need flexibility to support the economy", he said.

The ambition is to allow greater parliamentary scrutiny of Budget measures ahead of their implementation, Hammond explained.

Investments will be rolled out through a new fund that will prioritise technologies including robotics, industrial biotechnology and medical technology. However, analysts are predicting an economic slowdown and soaring inflation next year, and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted that £59 billion in extra borrowing will be needed to balance the books, because of the Brexit vote.

At the last forecast each of the three years had been forecast to see GDP growth of 2.1 per cent.

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