Day-to-day spending being brought back into balance is good news, and it makes some spending decisions easier, but beware hype about the ‘end of austerity’.
Right now, a whole host of things are said to be top infrastructure priorities. Yet, remarkably, housing is not among them. This needs to change.
Someone has to take control of the Government grid and plot a series of activities designed to reinforce each other and to build a positive narrative.
Councils could encourage more schools to specialise and give more children in care the chance to attend boarding schools.
But he says the way the Chancellor presented the OBR’s growth figures was “interesting”.
The FT has the balanced “Grim outlook overshadows housing drive” while the Times goes for “Hammond eases off austerity”. The i has “Hammond’s hard-hat budget”.
It continues to clear the deficit, prepare for Brexit, and back our businesses with the support they need to boost productivity.
The Shadow Chancellor doesn’t know the current cost of debt interest.
The Chancellor pretended to be bold when he was actually being cautious.
Hammond’s plan – from abolishing Stamp Duty for most first-time buyers, through to reforms to help Universal Credit recipients.
We cannot be the tired heavyweight in the twilight of their career landing a few punches. We need the energy and urgency of the underdog to go on the attack.
Cutting the cost of living. Building more houses. Protecting the NHS. Developing skills. A draft of the proposals Hammond should deliver.
“In the run-up to Budget people running all kinds of services come to see us and they always have very large numbers which are absolutely essential otherwise Armageddon will arrive.”
Given the resistance of Tory MPs to spending cuts and tax rises, Hammond’s easiest course would be to push any into the future. But this wouldn’t be problem-free…
Five priorities set out here would boost exports, tackle business rates, protect the self-employed, increase housing and create jobs.