Chancellor Philip Hammond to stress "pragmatic" approach to public finances

George Osborne's successor at the Treasury says his fiscal approach will involve "recognising the need for investment"

By Josh May

03 Oct 2016

Philip Hammond will use his first Conservative conference speech as chancellor to mark a departure from the policies of George Osborne. 

Hammond will say he will oversee a “new plan for the new circumstances Britain faces” after the decision to leave the European Union.

He will confirm formally that he is ditching his predecessor’s central policy to achieve a budget surplus by 2020.

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"The fiscal policies that George Osborne set out were the right ones for that time,” Mr Hammond will tell the audience in Birmingham.

"But when times change, we must change with them. So we will no longer target a surplus at the end of this parliament."

Theresa May sacked Osborne from the government after becoming prime minister.

In other extracts of Hammond’s speech, he will commit to a programme of fiscal discipline but pledge to approach it in a “pragmatic way”.

“At the Autumn Statement in November I will set out our plan to deliver long-term fiscal sustainability, while responding to the consequences of uncertainty in the short-term and recognising the need for investment to build an economy that works for everyone,” he will add.

"A new plan for the new circumstances Britain faces."

A £5bn package to boost housebuilding, some of it funded by extra government borrowing, has been approved by Hammond today. 

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