UK government spending

Grayling: Cancelled ferry contracts 'were insurance'
Cancelled ferry contracts were part of a £4bn no-deal Brexit "insurance policy" the government put in place, says Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

'Chancellor's chequebook out, but not open yet'

Philip Hammond

In response to the news that government borrowing has fallen, Martin Wheatcroft, advisor to accountancy body ICAEW on public finances, said Chancellor Philip Hammond has both the capacity to increase spending on under-pressure public services, as well as cutting taxes to provide an economic boost.

“However, he, like the rest of us, is waiting to see what happens with Brexit. A ‘Brexit dividend’ from securing an eventual deal – with businesses investing, consumers more confident and an uptick in the market – would help in reducing the public finance deficit further," said Mr Wheatcroft.

“In the meantime, the Chancellor continues to give himself as much room as possible to be able to support the economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”