Budget 2017: Hammond loosens the purse strings – a little

Chris Dillow

Chris Dillow
Budget 2017: Hammond loosens the purse strings – a little

In his autumn Budget, Philip Hammond partially delivered on expectations that he would loosen fiscal policy. The chancellor announced a net fiscal giveaway of £5.8bn (0.3 per cent of GDP) for 2018-19 and £8.9bn for 2019-20, fading to just £1.95bn in 2020-21. The largest single element of the loosening in 2018-19 is an extra £2.3bn of NHS spending. He also allocated an extra £1.5bn for spending on preparations for Brexit. Cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers will cost the Exchequer £560m next year and freezing fuel and alcohol duties will cost another £1bn.

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