With the outcome of Brexit negotiations still up in the air, the Government’s scope for a major shift in direction at this autumn’s Budget was limited. Nevertheless, this is a Budget that supports investment and growth, and local growth in particular.
The Chancellor reiterated Government’s commitment to boosting productivity, and to regional and city growth to achieve it. There are new sources of funding at all levels of local government and these sit within the overarching structure of the Industrial Strategy published last year. So although the country’s finances and policies will be ultimately determined by what happens with Brexit – Philip Hammond has reserved the right to upgrade the 2019 Spending Review to a full Budget should no deal with the EU be struck – this Budget offers much of interest to places in the interim.