The amount of money the Government has to borrow to make up for a shortfall in its budget has fallen to its lowest level since 2007 and is a quarter lower than it was a year ago, thanks to the country spending less and generating more income from taxes. If this trend continues over the next few months, it could offer Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, room to increase spending in the Autumn budget, experts have said. So far this financial year, which runs from April 2018 to March 2019, the Government has had to borrow £16.8bn to keep the country running. This is £5.4bn less than in the same period last year - equal to a cut of 24pc - and the lowest level of borrowing, in this particular three-month... Register for free to read this article, or log in to your Telegraph account Register Log in … [Read more...] about Borrowing falls to lowest level in a decade giving Philip Hammond room for spending
Chancellor Philip Hammond could have billions more to play with in the Autumn Budget after figures revealed the public finances in their best shape for over a decade, experts said today. Growing tax receipts and a tight rein on spending saw a surprise £800 million fall in the UK deficit in June to £5.4 billion, confounding expectations for a small rise. In the three months of the financial year so far, UK borrowing is running £5.4 billion below last year at £16.8 billion, the lowest since 2007, and on target to dramatically undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) £37.1 billion full-year target. Capital Economics’ Andrew Wishart said: “If sustained, the fall in the deficit would see borrowing undershoot the OBR’s forecast by £7 billion or so. The upshot is that the OBR should allow the Chancellor a bit more room for manoeuvre in its autumn forecast.” Chancellor Philip Hammond could have billions more to … [Read more...] about Tax bonanza and austerity hands Philip Hammond £7bn extra to spend
Chancellor Philip Hammond has defended Theresa May's Brexit plan after the City of London Corporation lashed out at the proposals. Writing in the Financial Times, Hammond said the long-awaited white paper would allow the City to "flourish" despite abandoning his original "mutual recognition" plan, which would have allowed financial services easier access to the European Union.It comes after City of London Corporation policy chairman Catherine McGuiness said the Brexit white paper was "a real blow" to financial services.In his response, Mr Hammond said: "We set out a realistic framework that provides sufficient stability and certainty for the market to operate."This is less than mutual recognition, but it is more than the EU's equivalence regime. It is a model that preserves the stability, transparency and certainty of the former, while respecting the sovereignty of the latter."Mr Hammond has argued in the past that the "UK could not become a rule-taker in financial … [Read more...] about Philip Hammond defends May’s Brexit plan after City’s rebuttal
Is the new digital tax Philip Hammond is considering a good idea to rescue the high street? Jack May, a columnist for Progress, says YES. The high street is in serious trouble. This year alone we’ve seen retailers across the spectrum fall on hard times – Maplin to Mothercare, Poundworld to House of Fraser. Part of that is down to the ever-growing competition bricks and mortar shops face from online giants like Amazon and Ebay, as consumers increasingly shop online. Traditional retailers are struggling to compete, and while some of that is a simple case of disruptors overturning existing markets, it’s hard to argue that the online titans don’t have a significant tax advantage. Crucially, Amazon and co do not face the same business rates as our high street shops. Business rates were raised for a second year running in April, and retailers are struggling to cope. There have been calls for reform, but to no avail. So if MPs aren’t going to lower rates, … [Read more...] about DEBATE: Is the new digital tax Philip Hammond is considering a good idea to rescue the high street?
Philip Hammond has said he will be briefing his Cabinet colleagues on the cost of various Brexit options during this Friday's summit at Chequers. Speaking during his regular question-and-answer session, the chancellor told MPs he would reveal officials' estimates for "different potential routes forward" - but stressed they would not be made public until the point at which Parliament votes on the final deal. In response to a question from shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Hammond said: "I will be setting our for my colleagues - in the privacy of our Cabinet meeting - the Treasury's, and cross-Whitehall’s, assessment of different potential routes forward. But as the Prime Minister has said, we can’t give a running commentary in public on a matter that we are in intensive negotiation over with our European interlocuters." HMRC boss Jon Thompson has already indicated that at least one proposal - the Brexiters' preferred max fac option, which favours using new technology to … [Read more...] about Chancellor Philip Hammond will brief Cabinet ministers on cost of Brexit options this Friday