The National Living Wage will rise to £7.38 per hour from 1 April 2018, adding up to a pay rise of over £2,000 for a full-time worker since 2015, announced Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Spring Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond

Employment in the country is forecast to grow over the next five years – to have over 500,000 more people with a job in 2022, said Mr Hammond.

“We are the party of small business and the champion of the entrepreneur,” he stressed in his speech.

Business rates are being reduced by over 10 billion, he said, and £80 million of funding will be released to support small businesses to engage with apprentices. There will be a crackdown on late payment.

The government will embrace technological change, he said, with funding for faster broadband and 5G test beds.

The UK economy grew 1.7 per cent in 2018, and has grown annually since 2010, he said, and the UK’s borrowings are set to reduce.

The Chancellor announced a detailed spending review in 2019.

The Spring Statement was a missed opportunity to address funding issues for the NHS, said Niall Dickson of the NHS Confederation. "The twin tasks facing the Chancellor therefore remain – support NHS and the care services to help them deal with intolerable pressures today, and lay out a comprehensive plan to create a sustainable NHS and social care system for the next 10 to 15 years," he said. 

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