View more on these topics

Brexit ‘Headroom’ expected in Autumn Statement

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Philip Hammond, the Conservatives Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, arrives at the Conservative party headquarters on May 7, 2010 in London, England. After 5 weeks of campaigning, including the first ever live televised Leader's Debates, opinion polls suggest that the UK is facing the prospect of a hung parliament for the first time since 1974. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to move away from the rigid targets his predecessor George Osborne introduced as he lines up his inaugural Autumn Statement later this month.

The Financial Times cites officials close to cabinet discussions, who say that Hammond is eyeing up a flexible fiscal framework to give the government “headroom” to respond to Brexit.

While cabinet colleagues were apparently told to only expect a modest spending package in a briefing yesterday, the new plan could allow for greater stimulus whilst still balancing the budget in the next Parliament.

One source told the paper: “The goal is to create some headroom so it can be deployed if necessary. The chancellor made it clear we face an unprecedented level of uncertainty.”

Osborne’s goal of running a surplus by 2019/20 has already been ditched by the government.

Hammond is also understood to have played down the possibility of radical reform in the Autumn Statement, which will be delivered on 23 November, where speaking to colleagues.

A Conservative MP briefed by Hammond quoted by the paper says: “He has told us that now isn’t the time for lots of small changes. This is a time for consistency, preparation and steadfastness.”

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May says the Autumn Statement build-up showed “the Prime Minister’s approach to collective government and having more of these discussions early on.”



UK GDP growth defies Brexit: ONS

UK gross domestic product rose 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, up 2.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the Office for National Statistics. GDP in Q3 2016 was 0.2 per cent lower than the second quarter of the year. The ONS says the figures show that the Brexit vote has not harmed […]

Home House Residential Mortgage Buyer 700x450.jpg

Homebuyers return to market as Brexit nerves ease

Buyer demand has increased for the first time in seven months as Brexit “jitters” have started to ease, the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has found. While the survey found conditions varied across the UK, house prices continued to rise. New instructions to sell slipped further, with the lack of supply […]

Benson Hersch ASTL

Benson Hersch: Brexit is not the real issue

Much has been written about Brexit and the threats – real or supposed – that it poses.   My view is that there are issues in the UK economy which give cause for concern; many predate Brexit, but possibly are exacerbated by it. Anecdotal evidence from ASTL members seems to indicate that, for most, it’s business […]

Stop letting targets get in the way of delivery

The positivity at RESI was pleasing to see, with lots of encouraging discussion about the private rented sector (PRS), the possibility (or hope) of stamp duty cuts on the way in the Autumn Statement and the general prospects of residential property in this post-Brexit vote world. However, that positivity was often tinged with some negativity […]

India Election Update

What a difference six months makes. Speaking in September last year, we had warned of ‘excessive pessimism’ afflicting the market’s perception of India. Since then, responsible central bank policy from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), alongside improving global growth, has meant that India’s macro environment is strengthening quickly. The current account deficit has shrunk, inflation is falling and the government has embarked on a heavy dose of much needed fiscal consolidation. As a result, the rupee has been one of the strongest global currencies this year while the market has touched all-time highs, rallying by more than 20 per cent (GBP) since September. This begs the question: are we now in a period of ‘irrational exuberance’? Not yet.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up