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Hammond to ditch Osborne budget targets for more ‘balanced approach’

Philip Hammond

A MORE ‘BALANCED APPROACH’ to budgeting is to be introduced by new chancellor Philip Hammond, as he ditches previous government finance chief George Osborne’s economic targets.

Hammond will tell the Conservative Party Conference today that there will be opportunities to borrow more where investment in infrastructure projects is deemed vital. However, increased spending will only be on this principle, rather than just the day-to-day running of government, according to reports.

The Brexit vote and the slowing of the world economy had impacted on his decision, as he looks to reduce corporate caution that is creeping in.

“As we go into a period where inevitably there will be more uncertainty in the economy, we need the space to be able to support the economy through that period,” he said.

New timetable on the cards – but not yet

Hammond has, while abandoning Osborne’s plan to bring the budget into surplus by 2019/20, also refused to set a new timetable for achieving that goal, reported the BBC. A framework for bringing the public finances was still due, the new chancellor added.

The CIoT, Institute for Government, and Institute for Fiscal Studies have written a joint letter to Hammond urging him to improve the consultation process for tax changes – including a scaling down of new policies during the Autumn Statement.

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