The Autumn Statement
23 November 2016
Today, Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer to a packed House of Commons.
This was the first major economic announcement since the Brexit vote. The Chancellor was able to shed some light on the economic impact of Brexit and the knock on effect for Treasury plans; he stated that there were turbulent and uncertain times ahead. It was announced that there was a slowdown in growth forecast for 2017, from 2.2% to 1.4% growth.
The Chancellor confirmed that the UK Government will meet the 0.7% of GNI target on overseas aid spending, 'keeping its promise to the world's poorest' and that defence spending will remain at 2% of GDP.
To reflect the new economic forecast, overseas aid levels will see a drop in predicted growth over the next couple of years, the Autumn Statement reads:
'The government will continue to meet the commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in every year of the Parliament. In line with this commitment, the ODA budget will be reduced by £80 million in 2017-18 and £210 million in 2018-19, to reflect the latest economic forecasts.'
DFID have not commented on these reductions yet.
The Chancellor also stated:
‘But as we look ahead to the next Parliament, we will need to ensure we tackle the challenges of rising longevity and fiscal sustainability.
'And so the government will review public spending priorities and other commitments for the next Parliament in light of the evolving fiscal position at the next Spending Review.’
It is unclear whether this could signal a drop in commitment to the level of the overall aid budget, but this could be a possibility.
For an update on the wider implications of the autumn statement for charities, please see NCVO’s blog.