Spring Statement: Chancellor unveils consultation on plastic tax

CommentMarch 12 2018 5:00pm The TimesChancellor’s promise of tax changes in autumn only is worth keeping Philip Aldrick

Greenpeace UK senior political adviser Rebecca Newsom said in response to today's announcement: "The success of the plastic bag charge shows that a smart tax on plastic can work, so it's good to see the Chancellor reconfirm his commitment to look into this".

The OBR's forecast for GDP growth was raised slightly in 2018 to 1.5 per cent, from 1.4 per cent, but growth is still forecast to fall to 1.3 per cent in 2019 and 2020, and only bumping up slightly to 1.5 per cent in the final year of the forecast - well below the two per cent level long seen as the UK's potential.

Those forecasts, based on the assumption that Britain would stay in the European Union, saw growth of above 2 percent for each year between 2018 and 2021.

He said he was on course to meet a target of bringing the debt-to-GDP ratio down each year, saying the OBR saw it falling to just under 78 percent of GDP by the 2022/23 fiscal year from an expected peak of 85.6 percent now.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Britain would grow more slowly than all the other Group of 20 leading economies this year. The move was initially announced in last autumn's Budget. He claimed there was "light at the end of the tunnel" but refused to rule out further cuts.

Borrowing costs for this year will be £45.2bn, which is £4.7bn lower compared to what was announced in the Autumn Budget.

As a result, private debt now amounts to 170% of GDP, providing a far bigger drag on the economy than the much anxious about public debt, which stands at 85%."Despite Philip Hammond's cheerier outlook, there is no "light at the end of the tunnel" for families across the country".

Hammond said the government will tackle air pollution and plastic waste.

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This Government is determined that our generation should leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it, and improve the air we breathe.

Mr Hammond said he was inviting cities across England to bid for a share of £840 million to deliver on "local transport priorities".

Hammond has finished his Spring Statement, saying he wants the United Kingdom to be a force for good and a country everyone can be proud of.

Mr Hammond announced that London would receive and additional £1.7 billion to deliver 26,000 affordable homes - including homes for social rent, taking the total number to more than 116,000 by the end of 2021/22.

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The November budget also saw stamp duty scrapped for first-time buyers purchasing properties under £300,000. "As a nation we did it in 2017 and it is our business to do it again".

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