Brexit will leave a £59 billion black hole, says Chancellor

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has admitted that Brexit will leave a £59 billion void in public financies over the next five years.
Mr Hammond outlines his plans in the Autumn budget, promising to plough cash into infrastructure improvements and affordable housing to make sure UK Plc was prepared as it gears up to leave the European Union.

In his first statement on fiscal policy since taking over from his predecessor George Osborne, Mr Hammond said he needed to ensure he had the financial flexibility needed to deal with Brexit.
He did, however, say that there was reason to be cautiously optimistic given that the UK economy had so far proved to be strong and resilient following the historic referendum in June. However, analysts are predicting an economic slowdown and soaring inflation next year, and the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted that £59 billion in extra borrowing will be needed to balance the books, because of the Brexit vote. Mr Hammond has scrapped Mr Osborne’s pledge to get rid of the deficit by 2020. Instead, he said it was more realistic to accept that Britain would be in the red until the next parliament.Therefore, Mr Hammond provided only modest measures, to help the so-called JAMs, the just-about-managing households. He repeatedly said that his aim was to build an economy that works for everyone.
Main measures announced in the statement, included a freeze on fuel duty for the seventh year in a row. However, while Mr Hammond gave with one hand, he took with another, announcing an increase in insurance premium tax. However, the Chancellor has immediately come under fire for what he did not mention in his statement. Labour said no investment had been announced for the NHS or social care, which would be facing ever-increasing pressure as temperatures start to fall even further.

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