UK’s Economic & Fiscal Performance
The Chancellor reiterated the growth of the UK economy and the falling deficit, pointing to the following statistics:
- The Office for Budget Responsibility says that since 2010, no advanced economy has grown faster than the UK.
- Growth forecasts are 2.4% for this year, 2.4% for next year and 2.5% for 2017.
- UK deficit will fall this year and will keep falling until 2019/2020 where a surplus is estimated.
- The North has grown quicker than the South and jobs growth in the Midlands been quickest of all regions.
- Productivity is growing slowly but still lags behind other advanced economies.
In addition to the overview of the UK’s economic and fiscal performance, the Chancellor also made the following announcements:
- Announcements on the business rates review have been delayed until the 2016 Budget.
- Rate relief for small businesses has been extended for another year.
- Confirmation of the localisation of business rates, first announced at the Conservative Party Conference.
- 30% additional reduction to local government budgets.
- Tax credit reductions will be scrapped but £12 billion of welfare savings will still be delivered in full.
- Devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland likely to go ahead following agreement between different parties in Stormont.
- No cuts to police budgets and 30% more spending for counter-terrorism.
- £12 billion more spending on capital investment.
- Sustained funding for some cultural amenities with galleries and museums benefiting but the Department for Culture Media and Sport suffering a cut of 20%.
- £6.9 billion investment to build 400,000 affordable homes by the end of this parliament.
- 37% cut to the budget of Department for Transport
- 24% cut to HM Treasury
- 17% cut to the budget of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.