Chancellor to launch consultation on single-use plastics tax


"Another step on the road to rebuilding the public finances decimated by the party opposite", Hammond said.

And after the Chancellor compared Labour to gloomy cartoon character Eeyore and himself to the more optimistic Tigger, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne joked that Mr Hammond was "talking Pooh".

Earlier on Tuesday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said Britain would grow more slowly than all the other Group of 20 leading economies this year.

Plastics have become something of a poster material for this government's environment strategy, with the headline commitment in the long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan being a pledge to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by 2042, while Hammond floated the idea of a plastics tax during his Autumn Statement in November 2017. For eight years they've been ignored by this Government and today they've been ignored again.

Last month the OBR said 2017/18 borrowing would be around £43bn rather than the £49.9bn forecast last November.

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Which? explains what happened in the Spring Statement and what it means for your finances.

It is expected to be "the first sustained fall in debt for 17 years, a turning point in the nation's recovery from the financial crisis of a decade ago".

Economic growth exceeded Office for Budget Responsibility expectations in 2017 with an increase of 1.7%, though it is still expected to fall to 1.5% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019 and 2020, before rising to 1.4% in 2021 and 1.5% in 2022.

He also said the debt forecast is coming down, and by the end of the Parliament will have fallen significantly, saying that there is now "light at the end of the tunnel".

"[He] proclaimed that there is light at the end of the tunnel. This shows how cut off from the real world he is". His speech was repeatedly interrupted with loud jeers from the Conservative benches, which he dismissed as "Tory bully boys".

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Mr Hammond has said he will not make tax and spend announcements in the statement, which he insists is no longer a "fiscal event" after he shifted the Budget from its traditional springtime slot to the autumn.

The government's slender majority meant Hammond had limited room for manoeuvre and scant political cover for any missteps, meaning he was always likely to make few changes despite calls from Labour and some Tories to ease nearly a decade of austerity.

Mr Hammond said the tech sector employed more than 1.5 million people and accounted for £6.8bn of investment in 2016, 50% higher than any other European country.

The nine-week consultation will look at the "whole supply chain" for single-use plastics, and examine ways to deliver renewable alternatives and recycling opportunities. It said about 75% of the £37bn "divorce bill", as it has been dubbed, would be paid before 2022 - but small payments would continue until 2064.

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