Rolling coverage of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s spring statement at 12.30pm, including the latest growth and borrowing forecasts for the UK
- Brexit divorce bill estimated at £37.1bn
- Economists: Growth outlook is woeful
- Philip Hammond: Light at end of the tunnel
- John McDonnell blast Hammond’s ‘complacency’
- Growth forecasts up in 2018, but down in 2021 and 2022
- Politics Live: Salisbury spy poisoning latest
The government is theoretically committed to get net migration below 100,000 per year “Theoretically”, because many ministers believe the target is unachievable. And the OBR does not believe it will be hit either. This is what it says in a passage about its Brexit assumptions.
Specifically, as regards the economy forecast, we assume that:
The UK adopts a tighter migration regime following departure from the EU than that currently in place, but not sufficiently restrictive to reduce net inward migration to the desired ‘tens of thousands’.
Three years ago this week, George Osborne proudly announced a new Help To Buy ISA that would (he claimed) get first-time buyers scrambling onto the housing ladder.
Under the plan, the government would provide a £50 top-up for every £200 saved for a deposit on a home (up to a £12,000 deposit).
The original costing estimated that cumulative Government expenditure would reach nearly £700m by the end of 2017-18. But take-up so far has been well below expectations and the total value of payments in the first 22 months of the scheme – to September 2017 – was just £104m.
We have revised down our forecast by a cumulative 23 per cent relative to our previous forecast. Compared to the original costing, cumulative spending is around 80 per cent (some £1.7bn) lower up to the end of 2019-20