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Finance minister to give brighter outlook for UK's Brexit-bound economy

13 March 2018

He is set to unveil consultations on a single-use plastics tax and a possible tax on the profits of digital giants like Facebook and Google.

The Treasury will today publish details on how it plans to spend the £1.5bn set aside for Brexit planning, he added.

However, he added there will be more pay for NHS staff if management and workers reach a deal on a pay agreement.

He also took aim at Labour's efforts to "undermine the market economy", which Hammond says is responsible for having lifted the country's quality of life. But the structural deficit nearly unchanged in 2019-20.

Chancellor Philip Hammond addressed the regular meeting of Cabinet ahead of his spring statement to the House of Commons.

"As a percentage of GDP, borrowing is forecast to be 2.2 percent in 17-18, falling to 1.8 percent in 18-19, 1.6 percent in 19-20, then 1.3 percent, 1.1 percent and finally 0.9 percent in '22-'23, meaning that in 18-19 we will run a small current surplus, borrowing only for capital investment". However, it left its prediction for United Kingdom growth in 2019 unchanged at 1.1 per cent.

It predicts GDP to remain at 1.3% in 2020, also unchanged.

The Chancellor told Cabinet that over the last two quarters, the United Kingdom has seen slightly stronger productivity growth, which he said was the key to higher wages.

Britain's sluggish economy will grow slightly more quickly than previously thought this year in the run-up to Brexit, lowering the government's expected borrowing, chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond said on Tuesday. Wages of the lowest paid are up by nearly 7%, he added.

The Chancellor will use his first Spring Statement on Tuesday to call for evidence on how to reduce damaging waste, and the new plastic innovation fund, which is also expected to be announced on Tuesday, say Sky News, is expected to be one of the few spending policies in his statement.

The improved outlook for growth means the government will borrow less by the early years of the next decade than previously forecast, Hammond said. Those looking for any major spending or policy announcements will be left disappointed.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Hammond "must use today to act and end austerity".

But he will resist calls from Labour and some Tories to use the extra cash from tax receipts to ease the spending squeeze they say is pushing the public sector to breaking point.

Finance minister to give brighter outlook for UK's Brexit-bound economy