Spring Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1:17 pm, 13th March 2019

I have never been afraid to acknowledge that, as far as the economy is concerned, Brexit uncertainty is a distraction, and it is something we need to get lifted as soon as possible. I think I said that at the beginning of my statement. The sooner we can do that, the better. It will help us to grow faster, and it will help us to raise productivity more quickly, and that means higher wages across the economy.

On the issues that the hon. Lady mentions, we are putting £1.2 billion into addressing homelessness and rough sleeping. We are consulting on an additional 1% stamp duty levy on properties bought by non-UK resident owners, with the whole of that money ring-fenced to address the rough-sleeping challenge in our cities. In relation to poverty, she knows the figures. We have over 3.5 million more people in work, with 665,000 fewer children living in workless households. However much Opposition Members may not like it, it remains the case that work is the best sustainable route out of poverty.