UK Autumn Statement | Reuters.com
Edition:
United States

UK Autumn Statement

Latest updates as UK Chancellor Philip Hammond gives his first Autumn Statement

  • UK government announces funding for autonomous vehicles, electric cars


    Chancellor Philip Hammond on Wednesday announced 390 million pounds of funding to boost the development of low emission vehicles and autonomous vehicles.

    Delivering his first budget statement to parliament, Hammond also announced support for electric vehicle infrastructure.

    "Reliable transport networks are essential to growth and productivity," he said, adding that the funding would "build on our competitive advantage in low emission vehicles and the development of connected autonomous vehicles".

    He also announced a 100 percent first-year capital allowance for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

    Last month, Japanese carmaker Nissan said it would build two new models in Britain despite the vote to quit the EU, giving Prime Minister Theresa May her most important corporate endorsement since the Brexit referendum in June.

    A Nissan spokesman said discussions were also ongoing between the firm and the government over how Britain could support and encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, a key area for the company.

    Just over 3 percent of cars sold in Britain last year were alternative fuel models - primarily plug-in hybrid and electric cars - but sales have risen 23 percent so far this year, with manufacturers seeking to attract buyers in an increasingly competitive market.

    The government is encouraging tech firms and carmakers to develop and test autonomous driving technology in Britain, aiming to build an industry to serve a worldwide market it says will be worth around 900 billion pounds by 2025.
  • HAMMOND SAYS WILL CANCEL RISE IN FUEL DUTY
  • HAMMOND SAYS WILL ABOLISH FUTURE AUTUMN STATEMENTS
  • HAMMOND SAYS UK WILL HOLD ANNUAL BUDGETS IN AUTUMN FROM 2017, AND HOLD SPRING FISCAL STATEMENTS
  • Hammond sets target for budget deficit minus investment

    Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday the government would cut the country's budget deficit, excluding investment spending, to below 2 percent of gross domestic product by the end of the current parliament in 2020.

    The target, which has echoes of a previous goal of Hammond's predecessor George Osborne, will give the government more room for investment spending to help counter an expected slowdown after June's Brexit vote.

    Hammond confirmed that the overall budget would not be balanced until during the term of the next parliament.

    Public sector net debt should also be falling as a percentage of economic output by the end of the current parliament while welfare spending must also remain inside a cap set by the government, Hammond said as he set the government's new fiscal rules.
  • DMO SAYS NET FINANCING REQUIREMENT FOR 2016/17 TO BE REVISED UP BY 20.6 BILLION POUNDS
  • OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY SAYS GOVERNMENT'S NEW FISCAL MANDATE IS "MUCH LOOSER"
  • OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY SAYS GOVERNMENT HAS GIVEN IT NO INFORMATION ON NEGOTIATION GOALS FOR EU TALKS THAT IS NOT ALREADY PUBLIC
  • UK government to maintain state pension rules, could review from 2020

    A system of guaranteed annual pension increases for retired citizens will remain but the government will review its public spending priorities for 2020 onwards, Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.

    Since June 2010, Britain's state pension has risen by whichever is higher out of Consumer Price Index inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 percent - a so-called 'triple-lock' designed to court elderly Britons who typically vote in large numbers at general elections.

    "We will meet our pledge to our country's pensioners through the triple lock. But as we look ahead to the next parliament, we will need to ensure we tackle the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal sustainability," Hammond said in his first budget update to parliament.

    "The government will review public spending priorities and other commitments for the next parliament in light of the evolving fiscal position."

    Earlier this month a committee of lawmakers called for the triple lock to be scrapped, saying it had succeeded in raising pensioner incomes but needed to be replaced with a fairer system after the next election due in 2020.
  • OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY SAYS SIGNIFICANT CHANCE THAT GOVERNMENT'S NEW FISCAL TARGETS WILL BE MISSED
  • OFFICE FOR BUDGET RESPONSIBILITY SAYS WE EXPECT THE POUND’S FALL TO ADD ALMOST 2 PERCENT TO THE LEVEL OF CONSUMER PRICES OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS
  • Hammond says government to cancel planned fuel duty rise

    The British government will cancel a planned fuel duty rise for the seventh successive year, Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday.

    His predecessor George Osborne cut fuel duty - which is paid on petrol, diesel and other fuels used in vehicles and for heating - in March 2011 and the rate has been frozen since.

    The significant fall in global oil prices had pushed down forecourt prices and led to speculation that taxes could rise earlier in the year but since then prices have crept up partly due to the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

    The pound has fallen by around 15 percent against the dollar since the June 23 referendum, pushing up the cost of importing goods and materials.

    The average price of petrol at the pump stands at 115 pence, one of the highest levels in the European Union, and steadily rising from a recent low of just over 100 pence in March, according to data from motoring lobby group the RAC.

    "Today we stand on the side of the millions of hardworking people in our country by cancelling the fuel duty rise for the seventh successive year," Hammond told parliament, giving his first budget update since taking on the role in July.

    Hammond said this would save the average car driver 130 pounds a year, and an average van driver 350 pounds.

    The price of fuel remains a sensitive topic in Britain where lorry drivers, angry at the price of fuel, blockaded refineries in 2000, bringing the country to a halt and forcing many forecourts to shut and others to introduce rationing.

    Fuel duty was last increased by 0.76p per litre on January 1 2011 but was then cut a few months later by Osborne faced with growing pressure from motorists angry at rising prices less than a year into then Conservative-led coalition government's tenure.

    In March 2011, the average price of a litre of unleaded petrol was 134 pence.

    Fuel duty currently stands at 57.95 pence per litre and consumers also pay value added tax as well of 20 percent on most fuel, or 5 percent on fuel for heating homes, meaning that more than half the price paid by the British consumer is tax.

    Consumers pay the highest diesel price in Europe according to European Union data and one of the highest petrol prices.
  • OBR SAYS LOOSER GOVERNMENT FISCAL POLICY LIKELY TO ADD 0.1 PERCENT TO GDP IN 2017/18
  • GOVERNMENT SAYS FACING LOSS OF 26.8 BILLION POUNDS FROM BANK STAKE HOLDINGS, UP FROM 17.5 BILLION POUNDS IN MARCH
  • OBR SAYS POTENTIAL OUTPUT GROWTH REVISED DOWN BY 0.3 PERCENTAGE POINTS A YEAR ON AVERAGE BETWEEN 2017 AND 2020
  • OBR SAYS DECISION NOT TO SELL GOVERNMENT STAKE IN RBS ADDS 12 BILLION POUNDS TO PUBLIC SECTOR NET DEBT VS MARCH FORECASTS
  • British taxpayers facing a 26.8 billion pound loss from bank bailout

    The British government said on Wednesday it is facing a 26.8 billion pound loss from rescuing failed banks during the 2007-2009 financial crisis after a slump in the lenders' value since Britain's vote to leave European Union.

    The Office for Budget Responsibility, Britain's independent budget watchdog, said it has increased its forecast for potential taxpayer losses by more than 9 billion pounds. In March, the watchdog forecast a loss of 17.5 billion pounds.

    Britain's government spent more than 136.6 billion pounds rescuing some of Britain's biggest high street lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Northern Rock, at the height of the financial crisis.

    But the government has so far only managed to recoup about half of that money and the additional interest on the debt used to buy the holdings keeps on rising.

    This is the second time in the last eight months the budget watchdog has recalculated the value of the remaining stakes as turmoil in financial markets has hammered bank shares.

  • UK to bump up gilt issuance by 15 billion pounds, much more than expected

    Britain's Debt Management Office said on Wednesday it planned to increase government bond issuance by 15 billion pounds in the 2016/17 financial year, a much bigger rise than the country's primary dealers had expected.

    The DMO raised its net government financing requirement for the current financial year by 20.6 billion pounds to 152.1 billion pounds, compared with its previous remit of 131.5 billion pounds.

    Fifteen billion pounds of the increase will be funded through gilt issuance. A Reuters poll of primary dealers had pointed to a 3 billion pound increase in gilt issuance.

    The DMO said it planned four additional gilt auctions and an extra syndicated sale.

    The remainder of the financing requirement will be funded through additional net short-term treasury bill sales of 5.6 billion pounds, up from zero previously and against expectations of a 6.5 billion pound increase.

  • UK's budget office sees little impact on growth from Hammond plan

    Measures announced by British Chancellor Philip Hammond on Wednesday in the government's first budget plans since the Brexit vote in June are likely to add only 0.1 percentage point to economic growth next year, Britain's budget office said.

    "The government has eased the pace at which fiscal policy will be tightened," the Office for Budget Responsibility said in a report on the Autumn Statement.

    "Relative to the path of consolidation underpinning our March forecast, it has loosened policy between 2017-18 and 2020-21, largely reflecting increases in capital spending. This has small effects on the profile of real GDP growth, adding 0.1 percentage points in 2017-18 and subtracting less than 0.1 percentage points a year thereafter."
  • UK to launch 23 billion pounds fund to boost infrastructure

    Reuters UKChancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday he would launch a fund to invest 23 billion pounds ($28.58 billion) in rail, telecoms and housing infrastructure over the next five years.
  • Britain maintains carbon tax freeze until April 2021

    Britain's carbon tax will continue to be frozen at 2015 levels of 18 pounds per tonne until April 2021, Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday, while presenting the government's Autumn Statement.

    Britain introduced the tax in April 2013 as a part of its efforts to reduce emissions and meet its climate targets, by making polluting fossil fuel power production more expensive.

    There had been speculation prior to the statement that the chancellor could scrap the tax, which think tank the Policy Exchange, said adds around 36 pounds a year, or around 7 percent to household electricity bills.

    Most British power producers, such as Drax and SSE, support the tax, which they say is needed to help incentivize investment in low-carbon generation such as renewables and biomass.

    However, industrial groups have called for the government to abandon the tax, saying it has made electricity prices in Britain uncompetitive.

    During the statement Hammond also echoed comments made earlier in the year by prime minister Theresa May, that the government will be taking a close look at the energy market and could intervene when markets are dysfunctional.

    "We will look carefully over the coming months at the functioning of key markets, including the retail energy market, to make sure they are functioning fairly for all consumers," Hammond said.

    The government has not given any details about potential interventions, but energy analysts have suggested it could force companies to switch customers to their cheapest tariffs when contracts end.

    Energy bills have doubled in Britain over the past decade to around 1,200 pounds a year, leading to allegations that utilities were overcharging customers.
  • Key announcements in UK Autumn Statement on budget

    Reuters UKBritish finance minister Philip Hammond delivered his first detailed statement on budget policy since taking office in July following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
  • British taxpayers facing a 26.8 billion pound loss from bank bailout

    Reuters UKThe British government said on Wednesday it is facing a 26.8 billion pound loss from rescuing failed banks during the 2007-2009 financial crisis after a slump in the lenders' value since Britain's vote to leave European Union. The Office for Budget Responsibility, Britain's independent budget watchdog, said it has increased its forecast for potential taxpayer losses by more than 9 billion pounds.



  • Hammond sets target for cyclically-adjusted budget deficit

    Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Wednesday the government would aim to cut the country's budget deficit, adjusted for swings in the economy, to below 2 percent of gross domestic product by the end of the current parliament in 2020.

    Hammond confirmed that the overall budget would not be balanced until during the term of the next parliament.

    Public sector net debt should also be falling as a percentage of economic output by the end of the current parliament while welfare spending must also remain inside a cap set by the government, Hammond said as he set the government's new fiscal rules.
  • UK flags fresh infrastructure spending to help boost output

    Reuters UKBritain's finance minister freed up an extra 23 billion pounds on Wednesday to invest in rail, telecoms and housing infrastructure over the next five years to help boost the country's output.
  • Brexit means UK is wise to defer budget handouts

    Reuters UK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Britain’s bill for leaving the European Union is becoming clearer - and the government has limit
  • Borrowing up, growth down for Brexit Britain

Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform
Photo

Cuba tells U.S. suspension of visas is hurting families

HAVANA Cuba told senior U.S. officials during talks on migration in Havana on Monday that the U.S. decision to suspend visa processing at its embassy on the island was "seriously hampering" family relations and other people exchanges.