Spring Statement: How Matt Hancock, Bury St Edmunds Labour, Brooks Macdonald and others responded to Philip Hammond's speech
Politicians and businesses around Bury St Edmunds have given mixed reviews to Philip Hammond’s spring statement.
Yesterday’s (Wednesday, March 13) speech was somewhat overshadowed by Brexit negotiations, but still provided enough for analysts to examine.
Some of the Chancellor’s headline announcements included:
- A £26.6billion ‘Brexit war chest’ to boost the economy in the event of a no deal,
- Tax cuts and an ‘end to austerity’ would depend on the manner in which Britain leaves the European Union.
- This year, the economy will grow at its slowest rate since the 2008 financial crisis.
- Borrowing has been revised down.
- An £800million non-NHS spend by the next decade to keep pace with inflation.
As a Conservative frontbencher, West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock was unsurprisingly vocal in his support.
The health secretary tweeted: “Hugely positive, punchy #SpringStatement from the Chancellor, reminding us that, despite the uncertainty, Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong thanks to our careful management of the economy and public finances.
“We have an economy with nine consecutive years of growth, & the longest unbroken quarterly growth run of any G7 economy and forecast to keep growing over the next five years.”
Labour Party supporter Kevin Hind, who stood for Bury St Edmunds constituency seat in 2010, instead praised the statement response from shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
“Listening to Philip Hammond joke and politick you wouldn't think there are just over two weeks to go until we potentially crash out of the EU without a deal,” he said.
Finance experts also shared their thoughts on the deal, with accountants TaxAssist Bury St Edmunds expressing their support for some aspects of the spring statement.
And investment management company Brooks Macdonald, based locally in Kempson Way, Bury St Edmunds, also provided less optimistic statement.
This read: “Irrespective of today’s announcements, the reality remains that both the economic outlook and that of the government’s finances continue to be dominated by the Brexit process.
“Although the Chancellor was able to point to the strength of the UK labour market, the Shadow Chancellor was quick to retort that real wage growth remains slow and weak consumption growth is being supported by rising household debt levels, a trend which is unsustainable over the longer term.
“Meanwhile, uncertainty continues to weigh on corporate investment and until clarity is provided on the UK’s future trading relationships, any bounce back in this area is likely to be elusive, particularly as the global economy slows.”