It was revealed that the Chancellor told Cabinet during their meeting earlier today that the slightly stronger productivity growth seen over the last two quarters was the key to increasing wages.
- The current budget is broadly in balance, so that any Government borrowing is to finance investment, not day-to-day spending.
Growth is likely to climb to 1.5 percent this year, Hammond said in Parliament Tuesday, higher than the 1.4 percent forecast in November.
"That said we do not expect Hammond to go on a spending splurge in the Autumn Budget".
Mr Hammond has said he might be able to allow a bit more public spending later this year.
Government borrowing will be £45.2 billion this year - some £4.7 billion lower than predicted in November and £108 billion lower than in 2010.
'There is light at the end of the tunnel because what we are about to see is debt starting to fall after it has been growing for 17 continuous years.
He said the predicted falling debt load as a percentage of GDP in the 2018-19 fiscal year marked a "turning point in this nation's recovery". "Light at the end of the tunnel".
Plastics have become something of a poster material for this government's environment strategy, with the headline commitment in the long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan being a pledge to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by 2042, while Hammond floated the idea of a plastics tax during his Autumn Statement in November 2017.
As the Chancellor delivered his statement, MPs from the opposite benches were quick to offer a different take on the economy via Twitter. "Our economy is created to fail people - and it needs an overhaul". "I, meanwhile, am at my most positively Tigger-like".
"We are building a Britain fit for the future and an economy that works for everyone", Hammond said.
On business rates, he said a revaluation has been brought forward to 2021, after which the government will move to revaluations every three years.
Business leaders largely welcomed the move, but also said that it was important that the Chancellor doesn't let politics get in the way of these plans, especially as the United Kingdom heads towards Brexit.
In his Statement, Mr Hammond announced a consultation on digital payments and the use of cash. Some 215,000 new homes are also scheduled to be built in the West Midlands by 2031.
Hammond's Treasury deputy Liz Truss said there would be "no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes".
'The stamp duty concessions have definitely prompted more interest among first-time buyers, who are often taking the place of investors at the lower end of the market.