Hammond rules out a Summer Budget

Hammond rules out a Summer Budget

The government is exploring ways to soften austerity but has ruled out a Summer Budget, according to chancellor Philip Hammond.

Mr Hammond said the Conservative party now recognised voters had grown “weary” of austerity measures after the Labour party made surprising gains in the general election with a manifesto that promised an end to tough fiscal policies.

Mr Hammond said that while there were austerity policies that had already been legislated for, the government also had a set of “proposals that we will now have to look at again in the light of the general election result."

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Mr Hammond said that he had already changed the fiscal targets he had inherited when he took on the job and had created “a lot more flexibility to respond to the situation on the ground”, which the government would use if necessary.

However, he also insisted that the government would still bring the public finances into balance by the middle of the next decade and that the country had to “live within our means”.

Mr Hammond also ruled out the possibility of a summer budget and said “there will be a regular budget in November” in which the government will “set out our future plans for public spending, for taxation, for fiscal balance and everything else that needs to be clear”.

Hopes had been high for a new Finance Bill that could tie together the long list of loose ends from the Spring Budget dropped from the pre-Election Finance Act.

The industry still needs clarity on the future level of the Money Purchase Annual Allowance for those who have exercised pension freedoms and on the amount of employer-sponsored advice which is exempt from National Insurance and tax.