As it happened: Prime Minister’s Questions & Budget Day

13:41 – And that’s it. I will publish Corbyn’s response in full later, along with my analysis of the budget.

13:37 – Hammond says the government is committing to building homes in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor. Infrastructure will be built to support new homes, he says.

13:36 – Hammond says planning reform is

needed too.

The government wants homes built in high-demand areas and around transport hubs.

Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, will make a statement on the plans in due course.

But there are too many unused planning permissions. In London alone there are 270,000, he says.

Oliver Letwin will chair a review of how land is being used for housing. It will report by the spring of next year, in time for the financial statement then. If necessary, the government will take powers to intervene to ensure land is used for housing, Hammond says.

13:32 – On housing, Hammond pledges extra funding over the next five years.

Hammond says young people will feel concerned about their prospects in the housing market.

House prices are increasing out of reach for many.

The number of young people owning their own home has dropped from 59% to 38%, he says.

He says May pledged to fix this problem. They will take the next steps by choosing to build.

He says Help to Buy has helped and the supply of homes has increased.

This is a complex challenge and there is no single magic bullet.

Without more land on the market, house prices will just go up.

Without more SME’s building homes, the big companies will just benefit.

13:29 – Hammond turns to housing.

He says councils will be able to charge a 100% premium on council tax on empty properties.

He will establish a homelessness task force, with a view to eliminating rough sleeping by 2027.

13:26 – Hammond turns to taxes for digital companies. He says income tax will be applied to sales abroad. He says all online market places will be jointly liable with sellers for VAT.

13:24 – Hammond says he has listened to concerns about the costs of uprating business rates.

He says he will bring forward the uplifting of this by the CPI inflation index not RPI. It will switch to CPI in April 2018, two years earlier than planned. That will save business £2.3bn, he says.

13:22 – On the VAT registration threshold, he says, at £85,000, it is by far the highest in the OECD.

But that does keep most small businesses out of VAT, he says.

So he is not minded to lower it. But he will look at reforming it.

13:20 – Hammond turns to health.

NHS to get an extra £10bn capital investment over this parliament.

And NHS to get an extra £3.75bn this year for its current budget.

Some £2.8bn will be for the NHS in England.

Hammond also says he will provide extra funding for NHS pay.

13:16 – And he turns to travel.

From April he will again freeze short-haul air passenger duty, and long-haul APD for economy passengers. This will be funded by an increase on taxes for private jets.

13:15 – Hammond says duties on other ciders, wines, spirits and on beer will be frozen.

13:13 – Hammond turns to tax thresholds.

Basic rate income tax threshold to rise to £11,850 in April next year.

Higher rate threshold to rise to £46,350.

13:12 – That was a lie, what Philip Hammond just said about wages. This was the first election year in which working people saw a real terms fall in their wages.

Hammond turns to the “national living wage”.

The government accepts the low pay commission’s recommendations.

Income inequality today is at its lowest level for 30 years.

The top 1% are paying more in income tax than at any time under Labour, he says.

13:10 – Hammond says many people are feeling pressure on their budgets.

Because we are all in politics to make people’s lives better, he will make changes.

The switch to universal credit is welcome, he says.

UC delivers a modern welfare system, he says.

But he recognises the concerns on both sides of the House on the delivery of this.

13:07 – Hammond says they will open talks on a Belfast city deal, with a view to having city deals across Northern Ireland.

13:06 – Hammond says his plans involve £2bn more for the Scottish government, £1.2bn more for Wales and £650m more for Northern Ireland.

He is used to getting his “ear bent” by the 13 Scottish Tory MPs, he says. They have persuaded him to exempt Police Scotland and the Scottish fire service from VAT.

13:05 – Hammond says he is announcing £30m to improve digital connectivity on the trans-Pennine route.

He is announcing a new city deal for the West Midlands.

There will be an investment in Redcar.

More than £1bn of lending will be available to councils to fund high-investment projects.

13:03 – Hammond says he and the eduction secretary will initiate a national retraining scheme.

He has accepted TUC advice to continue funding Unionlearn, he says.

He got an email from Len [McCluskey] asking him to do this, he jokes.

13:01 – Hammond turns to teaching, and maths.

He announces measures to promote maths teaching. These plans were trailed overnight.

More maths for everyone, he says.

13:00 – Hammond turns to driverless vehicles.

The law will be clarified so that people who charge their vehicles at work will not be taxed as a benefit in kind.

He says he announced previously that taxes on diesel cars would go up. This will go ahead. But new cars will be exempt will manufacturers introduce new technology.

And this will only hit cars, he says. So white van man will not be affected.

This will fund a £200m clean air fund.

Hammond says he will explore new taxes on plastic waste. People have seen through the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 how much damage plastic does.

12:55 – Hammond says a new high-tech business is founded in the UK every hour. He wants that to be every half hour.

He says he is investing more than £500m “in a range of initiatives from artificial intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband”.

Hammond says the government will replace European investment fund money if necessary.

12:53 – Hammond says the OBR says the government is on course to meet its fiscal targets.

Borrowing is forecast to be £49.9bn this year – £8.4bn lower than forecast in the spring budget.

It will fall to its lowest level in 20 years by 2022/23, he says.

In percentage terms, it is forecast to be

2017/18 – 2.4%

Then 1.9%. then 1.6%, then 1.5%, then 1.3% and finally 1.1% in 2022/23.

Hammond says the government is investing in infrastructure.

He says raising productivity is the central mission of the Treasury.

He is increasing the R&D tax credit, he says.

12:51 – Hammond says he intends to use the headroom he created in his first budget to reduce debt and provide help to families too.

12:50 – Hammond says the OBR expects debt to peak this year.

But Labour wants higher debt.

If they carry on like that, there will be plenty more joining Kezia Dugdale in saying: “I’m Labour, get me out of here.”

12:49 – Hammond says he will do the OBR forecasts now.

Hammond says the OBR is forecasting another 600,000 people in work by the 2020s.

Hammond says productivity has not improved.

For the last 15 budget events, the OBR has forecast productivity growth at 2%. But that has been revised downwards.

And so growth estimates have been revised down. They are now:

2017 – 1.5%

2018 – 1.4%

2019 – 1.3%

2020 – 1.3%

2021 – 1.5%

2022 – 1.6%

12:43 – Hammond says he has a clear vision of what a global Britain looks like: a prosperous and inclusive economy, where everyone can shine, and the dream of home ownership is open to all; a civilised, tolerant place; an outward-looking nation, that is a force for good in the world.

That is the Britain he wants, he says. He will not build it today. But he will build the foundations.

12:42 – Hammond says the government chooses the future, and chooses “to run towards change”.

Britain is at the forefront of the technological revolution, he says.

But we must invest to secure that future. That is what he is doing, he says.

Hammond says he understands the frustration of families whose budgets are under pressure.

So he chooses a balanced approach, he says.

12:40 – The Budget is starting now.

Hammond says the economy “continues to grow, continues to create more jobs than ever before and continues to confound those who talk it down”.

The future will be full of opportunities.

He wants to seize those opportunities, he says.

Hammond says the Brexit talks are at a critical phase.

He is clear that one of the biggest boosts he can give to business is to “make early progress in delivering [May’s] vision, with an implementation plan that allows businesses [to invest with confidence]”.

But he is preparing for every outcome.

12:17 – Corbyn says the government voted down an amendment to the EU withdrawal bill last night on workers’ rights. Turning to tax avoidance, he asks if May will adopt new measures on this. Or is she threatening to turn Britain into a tax haven?

May says she will take no lectures on this. The government has raised more than £160bn by measures on tax avoidance, she says.

Corbyn says David Cameron blocked EU proposals for a public register of tax. When it comes to Brexit, this government is a shambles, he says. The Tories promise action on tax avoidance. But they vote against it, he says. The government has no energy, no agreed plan and no strategy to deliver a good Brexit for Britain.

May says it was Labour that refused to allow tax avoidance measures to go through in a bill before the election. On Monday 76 Labour MPs voted in a different lobby from the front bench on a customs measures, she claims.

May is wrong about that. The division list is here. There were 76 opposition MPs voting for the amendment, but around half of those were from the SNP. There were only 28 Labour MPs voting in favour, against the Labour whip which said they should abstain.

12:10 – Corbyn says Michel Barnier said bankers would lose their passports. But David Davis has promised free movement for bankers. Who else will get free movement? Nurses?

May says Corbyn borrowed this question from Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader. There will be no immigration rules, she says. She says she wants to get on to deal with the future trading relationship. Labour cannot decide whether it wants to be in or out of the single market and customs union.

Corbyn says in April David Davis said the European banking authority would stay in London. The government has voted down amendments that would protect workers’ rights. Why not?

May says the government has guaranteed workers’ rights. She introduced a bill on this, she says. Labour voted against it.

12:04 – Corbyn responds by accusing the government of not engaging with negotiations properly. He then asks if the Prime Minister agrees with John Redwood in saying that foreign investors should invest elsewhere as the UK “puts on the brakes”.

Theresa May says that the government published a paper in the summer on the possible arrangements that could take place. She avoids the question about John Redwood.

12:03 – Jeremy Corbyn asks the Prime Minister if she can set out clearly the government’s plan on the Irish border, quoting Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister, saying that “they haven’t thought it through.”

Theresa May responds by saying the common travel area will continue as it has since 1922, and there will be no border and trade will continue.

12:00 – PMQs is about to start. I will only be covering the May/Corbyn exchanges, and any budget related questions.

11:50 – I am starting up a live blog covering Prime Minister’s Questions and the subsequent budget, to be delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.

Just a reminder of what’s at stake for both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, if any part of this budget falls through, as the last three have, it could spell the end for Theresa May and her government, and we could be faced with yet another general election. Food for thought.

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