Chancellor to launch consultation on single-use plastics tax

Chancellor to launch consultation on single-use plastics tax

The budget deficit for the current 2017/18 fiscal year has been cut to an estimated £45.2 billion from a forecast of £49.9 billion made in November, Mr Hammond said.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves 11 Downing Street in London, March 12, 2018.

Chancellor Philip Hammond today unveiled lower government borrowing forecasts as slightly stronger growth and higher tax receipts boosted the public finances.

Government borrowing and national debt will also be covered in today's statement, as well as a quick overview of possible consultations for tax changes.

In response, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told MPs "we face, in every public service, a crisis on a scale we have never seen before".

Economists expect Mr Hammond to announce that borrowing is set to be around £7billion lower in 2017-18 than had been predicted.

Hammond planned to announce a pared back statement - rather than a full-blown Budget announcement - after the United Kingdom faced criticism from global bodies for having two big "fiscal events" per year. Hammond's spokeswoman said it would help the government to make better judgments about whether Britain needed "fewer bridges, more programmers".

Green groups, industry bodies and individuals are invited to submit evidence on how the government can use the tax system to curb the use of plastic.

CBC's afternoon coverage of the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang
This is the largest Winter Paralympics ever, with 567 athletes from 48 countries plus a team of neutral Paralympic athletes from Russian Federation .

The Chancellor talked up "substantial progress" on the Brexit talks so far and said he looks forward to "another important step forward next week at the European Council", when negotiating teams meet.

The medium-term forecasts were less upbeat, however, with the OBR predicting economic growth of 1.3% next year (unchanged from last November's forecast), 1.3% in 2020 (also unchanged), 1.4% in 2021 (down from 1.5%) and 1.5% in 2022 (down from 1.6%).

In addition, the chancellor revealed that the OBR's forecast for 2018 was similarly more rosy than previously expected, rising from 1.4 to 1.5 per cent.

Inflation hit 3.1% in November 2017, but the OBR predicted it had reached its peak.

Speaking to MPs this lunchtime he said the Office for Budget Responsibility had revised economic growth for 2018 up from 1.4 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

The OBR has already upgraded its fiscal forecasts twice over the previous year, in March 2017 and November, as tax receipts have come in stronger than previously expected.

His deputy Liz Truss said there would be no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes.

There is also going to be a review of a possible tax on single use plastic.

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