The Chancellor’s first Spring Statement
Mr Hammond made clear some while ago that he wanted his Spring Statement to be a short financial briefing rather than a mini-Budget, complete with rabbit-out-of-hat announcements. Although his speech ran to 25 minutes, rather than the 15-20 that had been promised, the Chancellor stuck to a no-frills script.
There were no new tax measures and no spending changes. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) trimmed its projections for government borrowing, but Mr Hammond simply banked the savings for his Autumn Budget. Spending will be subject to a detailed review in 2019.