Rolling coverage as chancellor Philip Hammond delivers the 2017 autumn budget
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You can get up to speed on today’s budget speech with these charts, showing how growth has slowed and productivity has stalled:
On budget day the cabinet meets at 8am so that the chancellor can brief his colleagues on what he is going to announce. Here are pictures of some of the cabinet ministers arriving for this morning’s cabinet which is still going on.
The economic challenges facing Philip Hammond as he drew up this budget are as tricky as the political ones.
With growth having slowed this year, real pay shrinking, and the Brexit bill looming, Britain’s economic outlook is rather challenging. So it’s hard for the chancellor to “seize the opportunities for Britain” and “invest to secure a bright future” (as he’s expected to pledge today).
According to the BBC news this morning, Philip Hammond, the chancellor, will stand up at 12.30pm to deliver a budget intended to “revive the government’s fortunes”. Good luck with that. A more jaundiced view might be that his primary goal is to avoid catastrophe.
The first budget after a general election is normally the one chancellors use to raise taxes. But given that the Conservative party on its own doesn’t have a parliamentary majority, and that the voters’ tolerance of austerity seems to have reached its limit, Hammond has very little room for manoeuvre. My colleague Larry Elliott, in his pre-budget analysis, reckons it will be “the trickiest budget for a generation”.