News Item: Chancellor Delivers Spring Statement in the Midst of Maximum Brexit Uncertainty
In an update to apprenticeship reforms announced in the Budget, employers will see the co-investment rate cut by a half from 10% to 5% from April 1st 2019. At the same time, levy-paying employers are able to share more levy funds across their supply chains with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.
The government will launch a consultation into new ways of getting private investment to infrastructure projects following on from the government's decision to scrap the private finance initiative last year.
A new £3bn Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme will deliver around 30,000 affordable homes with £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund; to unlock up to 37,000 new homes on sites in West London, Cheshire, Didcot, and Cambridge.
A Future Homes Standard will mandate the end of fossil-fuel heating systems in all new houses from 2025.
Up to £260 million is announced for the Borderlands Growth Deal, which on top of the £102 million announced recently for Carlisle from the Housing Infrastructure Fund means up to £362 million UK Government funding into the Borderlands area
The Chancellor said that assuming a Brexit deal is agreed, and the uncertainty lifted, then a full three-year spending review will be announced before summer recess that will go beyond the NHS, into social care, schools, environment and police. It would have renewed focus on delivering high quality outcomes.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised down public sector borrowing in every year of the forecast period. The OBR believes public sector borrowing will be £6bn lower by the end of the five years than in its October forecast.
Public sector borrowing will fall to £13.5bn in 2023-24 from £29.4bn in 2019-20. The OBR had previously forecast borrowing of £19.8bn in 2023. This means debt as a percentage of national income will fall to 73 per cent from 82.2 per cent.
The Treasury says that economic growth will be 1.2 per cent this year, down from 1.6 per cent forecast. But would return to 1.4 per cent in 2020 and 1.6 per cent in the two years after; slightly higher than expected.
The Statement, as read out, was shorter than usual, but this link is to the full written statement which contains more detail (and, in typical Treasury fashion, other announcements), click here to read more.
One of which is a publication on tax avoidance, evasion and other related matters, which can be found here.