Spring Statement 2018: Chancellor's speech 'benefits mortgage borrowers'

Philip Hammond has said here is 'light at the end of the tunnel' after years of austerity

"This is a sugar rush Spring Statement, with short-term good news on borrowing and growth fading fast".

So, when the chancellor says there is light at the end of the tunnel, it would be a courageous person who planned on that basis with no idea yet of how long that tunnel is and whether it going to be rainy, sunny or just really foggy when we do emerge.

Mr Hammond also confirmed there will be a review into how to help the least productive businesses catch up with their competitors and how to eradicate late payments to the UK's small businesses.

In his speech today, Philip Hammond was positive about the United Kingdom economy, reporting that it has grown every year since 2010, with an additional three million jobs, lower unemployment and an increase in wages of nearly 7% above inflation since April 2015 for the lowest paid. "We assume that the unwinding of last year's sterling-driven rise in import prices will bring inflation down to around 2% relatively quickly and that it will remain close to that level".

In addition, the Chancellor announced an estimated 600,000 first-time buyers had benefited from the abolition of stamp duty on properties under £300,000. And we committed at Autumn Budget 2017 to move to triennial revaluations from 2022. The government is promising jam tomorrow, but Labour claim they could deliver jam today - and cake.

Hammond provoked ripples of laughter from opposition benches for insisting that the government had made "substantial progress" in Brexit negotiations, but said that it would "continue to prepare for all eventualities", bolstered by departmental allocations of £1.5bn to support the preparation. And that's not to mention the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The OBR also calculated that Britain will continue to pay contributions into the European Union budget until 2064 - 45 years after the official date of Brexit - with the total "withdrawal bill" amounting to £37.1 billion. Subsequently, much of his statement touched upon aspects relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the UK. "We are reducing business rates by over £10 billion".

"The change from a seven year to a five year, then a four year and finally a three-year revaluation system, only underlines how the government has finally realised how disastrous the seven-year 2017 revaluation was".

Will the bounce run out?

Mr Hammond told the Commons that the Government was "building a country we can all be proud to pass on to our children, a beacon of enterprise and innovation and an outward looking free trade nation".

Mrs May and her chancellor will be not be able to rest easy just yet.

Elsewhere, Mike Odysseas, managing director at telecoms firm Odyssey Systems, based on the outskirts of Stockton, denounced Mr Hammond's commitment of £25m for 5G testbeds, aimed at speeding up mobile data connections, saying the cash figure falls well short of what is required. McDonnell accused Hammond of "astounding" complacency in his statement response, and come the Budget in November, the chancellor will be hoping that his newfound enthusiasm wasn't misguided.

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