Magazine
Latest Issue

Philip Hammond dodges the question

The main point of the budget was to avoid the real question marks looming over the UK’s economic prospects—Brexit and demographic strains

By Jonathan Portes  

Photo: Claire Doherty/SIPA USA/PA Images

The relatively healthy state of the UK public finances is a mixed blessing for Philip Hammond and the Treasury. While Brexit has—as the OBR and other credible independent forecasters have shown—depressed growth, the impact on the public finances has largely been offset by unexpected strength in employment growth and unforeseen underspends in the public sector. The chancellor has essentially spent all of this windfall gain of £15bn a year or so—enabling him to claim that “austerity is coming to an end.” Hardly: the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect