Public Policy

March 13, 2018

2018 Spring Statement – “judge me by my record”


In the shortest fiscal statement in memory, the Chancellor Philip Hammond shared the current economic outlook, decrying a “turning point in our economy” with growth figures revised upwards, a sustained fall in UK debt levels for the first time in 17 years, and a more favourable outlook for borrowing.

Despite the Chancellor announcing that the UK is set to run a small current account surplus in 2018/19, anyone expecting ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ to announce a raft of new Government spending measures will have been disappointed. Whilst there was no mention of ‘austerity’ from the Government benches, the Chancellor chose to focus on maximising tax revenues, particularly from the increasingly digitised economy. Hammond’s “balanced approach” saw no change in direction, and, as had been trailed in the media, few new policy announcements, indeed divisive words were very much off the menu with “Brexit” only uttered twice.

Today saw a flood of new consultations on what have increasingly become key campaigning issues for the Conservatives – the digital economy, regional growth, support for (small) British business, and the environment. But, under all this, a big housing deal for the West Midlands, and a deeper look at single use plastics demonstrated the Chancellor’s reliance on Michael Gove and the Housing Ministry for proactive policy announcements.

“Judge me by my record” Hammond proclaimed. Take a look at our key highlights below and judge for yourself… Click here to see our infographic: