Budget: prospects for growth are not looking good, and may get worse

The UK faces the longest period of falling living standards since the 1950s – and that grim forecast is based on Brexit going well

That was the budget that wasn’t. There was a little fiddling at the edges; the cut in stamp duty designed to help first-time buyers amounted to nothing as it will cause house prices to rise and wipe out any benefit. In the end, it will help only existing homeowners. Same old, same old, in terms of austerity, with more cuts still to come for years ahead.

Not unrelated to that was the downgrade in the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast of productivity growth and consequently economic growth.

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