Philip Hammond

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Hammond: UK economy saw robust performance
The chancellor says the UK's economy has performed well given the weakening global economy and Brexit uncertainty.

Hammond: Brexit 'taking its toll'

Philip Hammond
BBC

Philip Hammond expanded on uncertainty created by Brexit.

"Uncertainty around Brexit is taking its toll on the economy. That's why we want to get the deal done, so we can put this issue behind us and move on, growing our economy, creating more jobs, creating higher wages," the Chancellor told the BBC.

Hence the importance of getting a deal to exit the EU.

"If we get the right deal, consumers will feel more confident, as consumers recover their confidence, businesses will feel more confident. I've said before, forecasts are there for us to beat, we've done it successfully over the last couple of years so the challenge is to get the right deal that restores confidence, boosts consumers and businesses and allows us to go forward with renewed strength in 2019".

Hammond: 'Remarkable' UK economy

Chancellor Philip Hammond
BBC

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been speaking to the BBC's Dharshini David.

He told her that the economic growth data for 2018 of 1.4% is higher than the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (which in October had forecast growth of 1.3%).

“The economy has come in ahead of OBR's forecast for 2018 and that's in the context of a weakening world economy and increasing concerns about trade tensions around the world so it's a robust performance for the UK economy in 2018 which is all the more remarkable given the uncertainty around the Brexit process.

"The uncertainty is certainly placing a cost on the economy. Business investment is weaker. I think some of the manufacturing weakness is due to problems in the car industry, not so much about Brexit and more about changing emissions standards and the impact that's having on vehicle output.”

Brexit crucial to government spending plans

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

We might find out more about the Chancellor's spending plans in the Spring Statement (Wednesday 13 March), but perhaps not, said Paul Johnson, head of the respected economic think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

"He may well decide to leave it longer, given all the uncertainties around Brexit," he said.

If there is a no-deal Brexit the Chancellor might decide to spend more to support the economy, said Mr Johnson.

"That means over the longer run it's going to mean several more years of austerity to row back from that expansion," he said.

'£10bn required to end austerity'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Philip hammond
Reuters

It has been overshadowed by Brexit, but the Chancellor Philip Hammond has to decide whether he wants to decisively end austerity.

The scale of the cuts so far have been "historically extraordinary" - £40bn to departmental spending.

To end austerity Chancellor Hammond has to find "at least £10bn", said Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

"Even if ends austerity, he stops cutting, it's still not going to feel great in some areas."

Chancellor Philip Hammond 'hopeful' of nuclear plant deal

Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant concept art
Horizon Nuclear

Work on a multi-billion pound UK nuclear project could still "go ahead" if a new financing model is found, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Japanese firm Hitachi cited rising costs for halting work on the £13bn plant at Wylfa Newydd, Anglesey.

It had been in talks with the UK government since June about funding for the project, which was being built by its Horizon subsidiary.

Mr Hammond said an alternative model was being worked on.