UK's May denies good-news budget signals an early election

Mr Hammond warned at the weekend that an emergency Budget would be needed if Britain leaves the European Union in March without a deal.

"This leaves the medium-term outlook for government borrowing little changed since March", with the government still committed to balancing the nation's books by 2025.

Many MPs fear that without further support low-paid constituents will be plunged into severe financial difficulties, prompting former prime minister Sir John Major to warn of a voter backlash akin to the poll tax protests which helped bring down Margaret Thatcher.

This would mean that other departments would be left with a zero per cent spend increase on average, with inflation taken into account. As controversial as Universal Credit has been, it is among the reasons hundreds of thousands have been encouraged off the benefits system and into the workforce.

"And there was no relief in the Budget for those cuts in the social security budget".

The Government has increased its NHS funding by £20.5 billion after inflation by 2023/2024.

Setting out his income tax cuts, he said the personal allowance will rise to £12,500 from April 2019 and the higher rate threshold will rise to £50,000. For many the net benefit will be less than £130 as they will lose some of the universal credit.

- People liable for income tax.

Mr Mackay is facing calls to lift the higher-rate threshold next April after Mr Hammond announced he was raising it to £50,000.

But What Is A "Digital Services Tax" - And How Will It Work?

The set to become the first developed economy to impose a tax that specifically targets large technology companies.

While most of his Budget involved loosening the purse strings, Mr Hammond announced the new tax on tech giants to make sure they "pay their fair share towards supporting our public services".

While the OBR's growth forecasts still paint a dim picture of the United Kingdom economic outlook, they are an improvement on the numbers issued back in March. The UK has been ravaged by eight years of austerity leaving all public services crying out for investment. House prices would likely fall by 10% over two years'. None of the previous forecasts have been met and each has subsequently been reduced.

"Support, from the chancellor, for nuclear power was not expected, but it would have been a welcome game changer for the region", he said, referring to the growing uncertainty surrounding the Moorside project in West Cumbria. In September 2010, the public debt was £952bn, but by September 2018, despite all the promise by the government, it was at £1,789.5 billion.

Philip Hammond's giveaway Budget has increased speculation about the possibility of an early general election. The government is also set to speed-up the sale of further tranches of Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, and Student Loans.

"Small retail businesses will see their business rates cut which will help our local shops, and now there's even more incentive for Mansfield District Council to properly plan for the future as there's cash available from government to implement them if they can sort it out".

The OBR's data is used as the basis for all income and expenditure figures and for all forecasts of economic performance and measures of the economy used in Hammond's Budget.

This year's budget included few specific provisions for the UK's communications infrastructure, with the headline pledge being £200 million to boost connectivity in rural areas.

  • Leroy Wright