Philip Hammond's Spring Statement not likely to include new cash for North



Lower than expected borrowing and higher than predicted GDP growth previous year will bring a note of optimism, but Philip Hammond has already suggested it is too early to take his foot off the austerity brake.

The Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts for the deficit, debt, GDP and productivity will form the backbone of the statement.

At the weekend he said: "There is light at the end of the tunnel because what we are about to see is debt starting to fall after it has been growing for 17 continuous years".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "Our public services are at breaking point and many of our local councils are near bankruptcy".

"Philip Hammond must use today to act and end austerity".

Mr Hammond has said he will not make tax and spend announcements in the statement, which he insists is no longer a "fiscal event" after he shifted the Budget from its traditional springtime slot to the autumn. Our country can not afford for him to continue to ignore the problems facing working households in our country.

He is expected to speak for less than half an hour and confine himself to an update on the state of the nation's finances.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is tomorrow (13 March) set to announce a public consultation on the use of the tax system to reduce the use of single-use plastics, along with a £20-million innovation fund to help businesses and universities develop alternatives to the problem material.

Taxes on single-use plastic items are an increasingly popular measure around the world, and the United Kingdom looks set to join the ranks of countries with similar taxes.

However, the government has yet to clarify what a single-use plastic is.