Spring Statement: Hammond announces 27000 new affordable homes in London

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He also said the government was considering new taxes on single-use plastic and on the profits of tech giants like Facebook and Google.

More detail will also be revealed for how the £190m set aside for improving full-fibre broadband access will be spent.

Hammond said in the next tax year taxpayers will pay £1,075 less in income tax than in 2010-11. He insisted he had committed £60bn to public spending, with £4bn going into the NHS in 2018/19 alone, praising staff for their work during the recent winter crisis.

In today's Spring Statement, Hammond said the government would launch an investment programme of at least £44 billion over the next five years was announced at Autumn Budget 2017, "putting us on track to raise the supply of homes to 300,000 a year on average by the mid-2020s".

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell responded to the statement by saying Hammond's "complacency is astounding".

The world's sixth-biggest economy would grow a bit more slowly than previously thought in the following two years, by 1.4 and 1.5 per cent respectively in 2021 and 2022. However, it left its prediction for United Kingdom growth in 2019 unchanged at 1.1 per cent.

In 2021, GDP is forecast to rise to 1.4%, down from the 1.5% expected in the November budget.

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.

Economists expect Mr Hammond will announce Government borrowing is set to be about £7bn lower in 2017-18 than had been predicted when he unveils the latest forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which will for the first time include spending estimates for the £35-39bn Brexit "divorce bill" agreed with the European Union in December. Wages of the lowest paid are up by nearly 7%, he added.

Britain's finance minister is expected to announce on Tuesday a modest improvement in the country's slow economic growth outlook in the run-up to Brexit, raising the prospect that he might relax his grip on public spending later this year.

The statement used to act as a "mini-budget", but Hammond has broken with tradition and pledged to deliver only one budget a year, in the Autumn.

There was no "Red Box" today but Chancellor Philip Hammond carrying a red folder.

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.