Hammond: I would like to spend more money on public services

Hammond: I would like to spend more money on public services
From BBC - March 13, 2018

Philip Hammond has said he would like to spend more money on the NHS but only if the public finances allow it.

The chancellor told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that he "recognised the pressures" on public services after years of restraint on public spending.

The NHS, he said, had got an extra 9bn since 2016 but an ageing society was creating "continuous upward pressures".

He hoped there would be "headroom" to allow him to allocate extra resources in the Budget later this year.

"Of course all chancellors would like to have more money available to spend," he said.

The BBC's political editor said it was Mr Hammond's clearest hint yet that he is prepared to increase spending on health - amid calls from Labour and the unions for immediate action.

Mr Hammond was speaking after delivering his Spring Statement, in which he announced no new spending commitments but said there was "light at the end of the tunnel" after eight years of austerity.

In the update to MPs, he said the Office for Budget Responsibility's growth forecast for 2018 had been revised marginally upwards while the watchdog said it expected public borrowing to fall every year until 2021-22.


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