Spring Budget 2017
Chancellor Philip Hammond described his first and last Spring Budget as one that "takes forward our plan to prepare Britain for a brighter future".
The economic forecasts outlined by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) were broadly in line with those from the Autumn Statement in November 2016.
Inflation is forecast at 2.4% in 2017, 2.3% next year and 2% in 2019.
Growth is predicted to be 2% in 2017 (up from 1.4% forecast at Autumn Statement 2016) and 1.6% in 2018.
The main difference is that borrowing and debt are both lower than predicted in autumn 2016 but debt continues to rise.
Borrowing in 2016/17 is forecast to be £51.7 billion (£16.4 billion lower than in the autumn) and public sector net borrowing is predicted to fall from 3.8% of GDP in 2016 to 2.6% this year.
Spring Budget 2017 was light on new measures with very few new announcements that will come into effect for the 2017/18 tax year.
The Chancellor confirmed that from April 2017:
- the national living wage will be £7.50 an hour
- personal allowance will increase to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold to £45,000 (£43,000 in Scotland)
- a NS&I bond paying 2.2% on deposits up to £3,000.