Chancellor eyes boost to homes and wages in Autumn Statement

Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond will seek to boost income levels and deliver more affordable housing in his first Autumn Statement later today.

The BBC reports measures to be included in the Autumn Statement include reducing the rate at which benefits are withdrawn when people start work, and increasing the national living wage to £7.50 an hour from April.

On housing, the Chancellor is expected to announce £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 new affordable homes in England, as well as a ban on upfront fees charged by letting agents.

It has been previously been reported Hammond plans to honour the Conservative manifesto pledge to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 and to increase the higher rate tax threshold to £50,000.

Forecasts in the Autumn Statement are expected to show higher borrowing and slower growth, against the backdrop of preparing for Brexit negotiations.

Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson told the BBC: “The Chancellor has got a very difficult task.

“For sure the economic numbers are going to get worse – he’s going to be borrowing more than he wanted to and he is going to be very uncertain about exactly where we will be in four or five years’ time.”

Separately, sources have told the Financial Times there will be “no rabbits”, with one saying: “It will be deadly dull”.