tv BBC News at Six BBC News November 22, 2017 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT
an upbeat chancellor delivers his budget but against the backdrop of a slowing economy. philip hammond made some eye—catching give—aways despite productivity being down and growth forecasts reduced. a britain we can be proud of, a country fit for the future. i know we will not build it overnight, but in this budget today we will lay the foundations. they call this a budget fit for the future. the reality is, this is a government no longer fit for office. stamp duty for first—time buyers on properties up to £300,000 will be scrapped except in scotland — experts are warning it could put house prices up. we'll bring you all the details of the budget and who are the winners and losers. also tonight: shouting. mr mladic, sit. guilty of genocide — the ex—bosnian serb commander behind europe's worst single atrocity since world war ii. cheering
music plays and the next president of zimbabwe, emmerson mnangagwa, is back in the country and will be sworn in on friday. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news: countdown to midnight — the ashes series gets underway. england captainjoe root says they're ready to go. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. a britain fit for the future — that's what the chancellor has promised in today's budget. it had a few giveaways but was delivered against the backdrop of a faltering economy with lower than expected growth and falling productivity. among philip hammond's announcements: from now, first—time buyers in england, wales and northern ireland
will pay no stamp duty on homes up to £300,000, more in london. scotland has a different system. for the nhs in england, the chancellor promised an extra £1.6 billion over the next year, though that's still short of what the nhs says it needs. the wait for the welfare benefit universal credit which has attracted criticism from both sides of the house has been reduced from six weeks to five. but it's all set against a downgrade in how much the economy is expected to grow over the next five years, with growth in 2017 alone cut from 2% to 1.5%. the labour leaderjeremy corbyn said the budget would unravel within days and "misery would continue for people across the country". 0ur political editor laura kuenssberg now on the facts and figures, the winners and losers in today's budget. almost ready to go — a big day for downing street. whose script for months has been shaky, to say the
least. feeling the press, chancellor? the priority for number ten and number", chancellor? the priority for number ten and number 11, those powerful next—door neighbours... ten and number 11, those powerful next-door neighbours... is this a make or break budget? was voted a cosmic events not to slip, to keep the budget tightly their grasp. —— was for today's events not to slip. he knew that the own delight —— his ownjob would be he knew that the own delight —— his own job would be shaped by what he had to say. a cheery start than mr hammond's usual demeanour suggest.” report today on an economy that continues to grow, continues to create more jobs than ever before, and continues to confound those who seek to talk it down. in this budget, we express our resolve to look forward not backward. yet, with brexit hanging over him, the risks of no deal with the rest of the eu are real and expensive. today, i am
setting aside over the next two yea rs setting aside over the next two years another £3 billion, and i stand ready to allocate further sums if and when needed. he wasn't gambling with his ability to get through the speech. remember hers?” did take the precaution of asking my right honourable friend to bring a packet of cough sweets, just in case. but he had to reflect the worry felt by many around the country, and confessed to the fact that the economy will be sluggish for longer, the country overall less wealthy for years. the first time there has been this kind of prediction since 1983. they revised down the outlook for productivity growth, business investment and gdp growth, business investment and gdp growth across the forecast period. what ministers want you to year is their promise to spend billions more to get house—building going, and to make it cheaper to buy the first
time. when we say we will revive the homeowning dream in britain, we mean it. we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge, but today, we have made a substantial down payment. one of the few surprises, stamp duty will be scrapped for good for those buying for the past time, on properties up to the value of £300,000. but it might only prompt around 3000 extra buyers come and it could push prices up. after tore concerned joined other parties' opposition, the chancellor promised to smooth the sharp edges of universal credit. universal credit delivers a welfare system where work a lwa ys delivers a welfare system where work always pays and people are supported to earn. but i recognise, mr deputy speaker, the genuine concerns on both sides of the house about the operational delivery of this benefit. the controversial benefit
won't be posed, but families would have to wait so long to receive the payment when they first plane. and they will be able to stay on housing benefit for longer. that's not will not be paused. there was no extra money for care for the elderly. the health service in england, though, will get an extra £2.8 billion in the next couple of years, far less than its bosses say it needs. but the government will find more money to give nurses pay rise next year. with no obvious clangers so far from the chancellor, the government hopes this can steady tory nerves. we are ata this can steady tory nerves. we are at a turning point in our history, and we resolve to look forwards, not backwards, to seize the opportunities ahead of us, and together, to build a britain fit for the future. i commend this statement to the house. a sigh of relief from the chancellor, but obvious anger from the labour leader. not enough
to change much, he claimed, and not enough for millions in need. economic growth has been revised down, productivity growth has been revised down, business investment revised down, business investment revised down. people's wages and living standards revised down. what sort of strong economy is that? what sort of strong economy is that? what sort of strong economy is that? what sort of fit for the future is that? they call this a budget fit for the future — the reality is, this is a government no longer fit for office. remember the government barely has a majority when it needs it, so opposition parties can make life extremely hard. he is deluded. when you look at the 0br book, the fiscal stimulus from this is 0.1%. it is nothing. living standards will be severely curtailed. we have a severe squeeze continuing in public services. economic growth
downgraded, this meant investment and productivity downgraded as a result of this budget, meaning a further squeeze on wages and living standards. a squeeze which will hang over companies and families around the country, a backdrop that the government at westminster will find ha rd to government at westminster will find hard to escape. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. the government's goal of balancing the budget is looking increasingly remote. the previous conservative chancellor, george osborne, had pledged to eliminate the deficit — the difference between what the government earns and what it spends — to zero by 2015. then it was kicked back to 2025. now, even that is in doubt. the budget has revealed that borrowing over the next five years will, on average, be higher than previously forecast. andy verity is here to talk us through the numbers. andy: it wasn't really philip hammond who had the biggest influence on this budget. it was robert chote — the man who makes the official predictions about how quickly the economy will grow. before the financial crash each worker would produce about 2% more than they did the year before. for years, mr chote expected that growth in productivity
to return, but it didn't. now he's been forced to admit it's not going to happen. the basicjudgment we have to make about productivity is what weight do you put on this unusually weak period that we've seen since the financial crisis, and a much stronger period of performance for decades before that? economists really don't know what the explanation for the weak period is. there's a whole variety of things that could have been contributing over time. very low interest rates, weak investment, problems in the financial sector, maybe the output of the economy is being under—measured. but we basically had to take an overall judgment, and we've been more pessimistic than we were back in march. here is the scale of the damage that wea k here is the scale of the damage that weak productivity is expected to do to the growth of the economy, meaning all the goods and services we produce. in the spring, the 0br thought we would grow by 2% this
year, and then slow down before speeding back up in five years. here is the new, realistic forecasts an average growth of just is the new, realistic forecasts an average growth ofjust1.4% per year, a slowdown that won't go away. well, i think if the projections are correct, that would mean that we'll see a very slight slowdown. we're growing at about 1.5toi.7% now. the slowdown would be down toi.4, 1.3%. but, quite frankly, that's within the margin of error of any economic forecasts, so i think it's a sobering projection. now, if the economy is growing more slowly, the income tax and vat doesn't rolling as fast, so the chancellor has to borrow more to plug the gap between income and spending. here is what he was forecast to have to borrow back in march. now, he won't have to borrow as much in the short term because the economy has done better than expected since the brexit bug, but in five years, he will be borrowing a lot more. in spite of that, the chancellor chose to spend more. take
next year, when he will spend an extra £1.5 billion preparing for brexit. he will miss out on £800 million by freezing fuel duty. it is a net giveaway of more than £6 billion. it's looking increasingly unlikely that we're going to get balanced books even by the mid—20205. the point at which we're supposed to have got to balance has been pushed back, and back, and back. and actually, just to get there in the mid—20205, we'd have to have another round of spending cuts over the early 20205. given how hard it's been to get where we are, i think that's going to be pretty tough. underlying all the treasury's numbers are assumptions — that we'll leave the eu in march 2019, that immigration will be cut, that imports and exports went grow as fast. and each of those assumptions is deeply uncertain. andy verite, bbc news. in terms of the housing crisis, the government has pledged to build
an average of 300,000 new homes a year, but not until the middle of the next decade. stamp duty in england, wales and northern ireland is to be abolished immediately for first—time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, more in london. our home editor mark easton has more. it was billed as a watershed budget that would fix the broken housing market. so, we've come to a new development in newbury in west berkshire. today, we set out an ambitious plan... watching the chancellor in a show house, we have house—hunters in the bedroom, a worried resident in the kitchen,. the first measure was the abolition of stamp duty on houses up to £300,000. the average price here is £356,000. has the chancellor put a smile on the faces of charlie and
sophie who have a baby coming and need somewhere to start the family? it looks like the stamp duty will save us money, it looks like the stamp duty will save us money, but i am worried it will put house prices further up. that is the main issue the people like us. prices are so high that we can't afford to save a deposit. the offers the budget responsibility wa nt offers the budget responsibility want a night the stamp duty change will only lead to an extra 3501st—time buyer purchases. the chancellor said today he wants 300,000 new homes built in england every year. the last time 300,000 homes were built in a year in england was back in 1969, when councils and housing associations built almost half of them. what was your takeaway from the budget?“ the devil is in the detail. the main ones are around employment training, so we ones are around employment training, so we have people to build a new homes, and universal credit changes to support our residents to pay their rent. just up the road is the other side of the housing story,
appropriately the inspiration for the book watership down, these fields had been due to become 2000 desperately needed homes, but after local protests and rows over infrastructure, the council has pulled the plans. how do those worried about new development view this budget? we welcome the protection of green belt, the emphasis on brownfield development, high—density housing for towns and cities, but we worry about the 300,000 target as the pressure goes on councils to push forward unsuitable schemes. is the prime minister says fixing a broken housing market is her mission, so in this rich corner of the home counties, how many children are homeless tonight? the answer? 87. more money has been promised for the health service, nearly £3 billion over three years for the nhs in england, and £350 million immediately to address pressures this winter. but nhs england's medical director, sir bruce keogh, says the money isn't enough, and longer waits for patients seem unavoidable.
0ur health editor hugh pym has more. the neonatal intensive care unit at birmingham women's hospital. here, they have a clear view of what future generations will need from the nhs. the chief executive says the chancellor's new funding falls short of what is required. i feel quite sad about it, if i'm honest. i was really looking for the government to make a commitment to what the nhs needs in the long term. she told me the money for this winter has come too late. it's very difficult to think what we can do now. the only thing we could really try is to get locum staff or to pay existing staff overtime, but it's the same pool that we are asking to do extra work all the time. nhs england had called for a majorfudging increase. the budget deal falls short of that. health commentators said it was a step in the right direction. it's less than we need,
but it's more than we expected. there are huge challenges are lie on the front line, notjust for acute hospitals but also for mental health, community and ambulance services. nhs employers say the government's pay cap policy has made it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain staff. significantly, today, the chancellor said he would find the extra money to cover any wage increase recommended by the independent pay review body. these nurses told me they had something to look forward to after many years of pay restraint. it's massive, financially. we struggle every month. every month, you're in your overdraft. there is not very many nurses have a savings fund and things like that. it's very positive, but ijust worry that it still leaves some uncertainty about what it means for the future, how much the pay rise will be. the trust running this hospital has got new budget funding to expand its a&e unit, but a senior nhs england official has said the chancellor hasn't plugged all the funding gaps. longer waiting times for care are now unavoidable, which is worrying. hugh pym, bbc news, birmingham.
some of the other measures announced in today's budget are that the personal tax—free allowance will rise to £11,850. and for higher rate tax payers, the threshold is lifted to £46,350. duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen— but duty on high strength ciders will go up. duty on tobacco will rise by 2% above inflation. but car tax for all but the cleanest diesel cars will go up a band from april, but no increase for vans. and there was good news for small businesses — the threshold for small businesses to pay vat is being kept at £85,000. let's talk to our political editor, laura kuenssberg, at westminster. there was so much build up to this budget, talk of rows between number 10 and 11, dark mutterings about whether it might cost the chancellor his job — so, has he managed to pull it off? i think if anybody was hoping for something dramatic, huge moves in
this budget, they would have been disappointed. it wasn't the kind of radical reboot some tory mps wanted. it wasn't the kind of budget that will go down in history as the kind that could change the fortunes of the government overnight, whether being a triumph or disaster. frankly after the last six months of turmoil, the real aim for number 11 and number10 turmoil, the real aim for number 11 and number 10 today was to get through the day without accident. a quiet day these days for the tory party is in some ways a good day. there is, however, a really big important but to all of that. the economic predictions are worse, much worse than people had expected. that means if they turn out to be correct, that for another five—year is families and firms around the country will be feeling the squeeze. the country is expected to be significantly less well off than previous forecasts suggested. those
numbers can prove to be wrong. they often do turn out to be very different. but, voters tend to punish governments and political parties who preside over a period where they feel they are feeling the pinch. however the individual measures that philip hammond put forward today proceed, that backdrop is something the government can't escape. thank you. and you can see whether today's budget means you'll be better or worse off, by going to our budget calculator. just go to bbc.co.uk/budget and follow the links. let's take a look at today's other news now. and the former bosnian serb army commander ratko mladic has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bosnian war more than 20 years ago. amongst a number of charges, he was judged to have significantly contributed to the the worst atrocity in europe since the second world war, when 7000 muslim men and boys were massacred. -- 8000.
from the hague, allan little reports. mr mladic, sit. it has been the most emotionally charged of all the trials this court has heard. meradic, if you... mladic demanded a halt to the hearing because of his high blood pressure. when thejudge refused, mladic was led out yelling obscenities. curtains down, mr mladic will be removed from the courtroom. shouting. in his absence, thejudge carried on. the crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to humankind, and include genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. mladic committed genocide at srebrenica in 1995. there, his men rounded up or hunted down 8000 men and boys, some as young as 12, and murdered them. explosion. the sniping and bombardment of the capital sarajevo was designed to terrorise the civilian population. a member of the srk shot
a bosnian muslim woman walking on the street with her children. he's talking about the woman in the white coat. her name is djenana sokolovic. the bullet passed through her abdomen and hit her seven—year—old son in the head, killing him. last year i went to see her. she told me why she'd gone to the hague to give evidence. translation: it meant a lot to me. i went for the sake of my child. i know that nothing will bring him back, but i would go again tomorrow if they asked me. i can't tell you how important it was for me to testify. across bosnia, mladic‘s forces drove hundreds of thousands of non—serbs from their homes. thousands of men were held in detention camps, where hundreds died. for this, mladic was convicted of murder, extermination
and forced deportation. this is fikret alic in 1992. today, he welcomed the verdict. translation: this should send a signal across the world, that in future war criminals will be punished. there will be justice. ratko mladic was not the architect of ethnic cleansing, but he was its ruthless enforcer. he didn'tjust fight a war, he carried out a huge and violent criminal enterprise. allan little, bbc news, the hague. the former vice—president of zimbabwe, emmerson mnangagwa, has returned to the country, two days before he's due to be sworn in as its new leader. he's been in south africa since he was sacked by robert mugabe, a move which triggered a military takeover, culminating in mr mugabe's resignation yesterday. here's our africa editor, fergal keane. the crocodile is coming. all day they waited for emmerson mnangagwa,
he of the legendary ruthlessness, reinvented now as an apostle of liberty. they were the happy and the hopeful. this mp was cast out by robert mugabe. now his faction is triumphant. the country is pleased. it's all about the people. if the people are happy, i'm happy. we did this for the people. the people did this. but there were reminders of mr emmerson mnangagwa's more sinister legacy. this is the air marshal perence shiri, who led the notorious fifth brigade during massacres in matabeleland soon after independence. how do you feel today, general shiri? i don't know. have you anything to say? are you happy? he's a close ally of the new president. what is very clear to me is that this is a welcoming party not made up of old zimbabweans but very much hard—core ruling party supporters. they celebrate together, but the ruling party is no longer a monolith. there are factions within factions, and loyalty to the new leader will be dependent on him delivering
change. now, let me ask you, if this president doesn't meet your needs, will you challenge him? everyone now is very awake. if he doesn't do what we want, we're going to take him down again. we are not scared. you're telling me this at the party headquarters of zanu—pf, so that is a real sign of change for this country. yes! everyone is now very, very awake. these are days of questions. where are the deposed robert mugabe and his wife grace? the military isn't saying. will the new leader bring the opposition into a unity government? 0ne leading activist told me the international community now had to engage with zimbabwe. well, we expect the international community to be our underwriters and guarantors, to be making sure that there is the holding of credible, legitimate, free and fair elections. within the last hour, he arrived at his party
headquarters, and promised to be the people's servant. we want to grow our economy. yes! we want peace in our country. yes! we wantjobs, jobs, jobs. the task is huge and the expectations are great. fergal keane, bbc news, harare. let's return to our main story this evening, and the chancellor has delivered his budget. he gave a sobering assessment of the economy with lower than expected growth, but promised more money for the nhs and help with stamp duty forfirst time buyers. let's speak to our economics editor kamal ahmed who's in downing street. are people going to feel worse or better off after this budget? i think not much change. actually the chancellor didn't do very much on personal taxes, so that squeeze so many people have been suffering
this year will continue. as you suggest, the big story from the budget today was that growth downgrade. this is the first time a five—year forecast for growth has been below 2% since the 1980s. to cover that issue, the chancellor said he's going to borrow a lot more. it seems the economic and political pressure he's under, he's decided to act now. the big question for the chancellor is this. if the economy takes a further turn for the worst, what of those brexit negotiations don't go as positively as some expect, will the chancellor have more money in the kitty, that header hit carefully saved up to spendin header hit carefully saved up to spend in later years? would he have more money to spend? after today's events, that is the big question the treasury will have to answer. thank you. time for a look at the weather. here's lucy martin.
good evening. some wet and windy weather today. this photos sent in bya weather today. this photos sent in by a weather watcher in cumbria. some localised flooding where the rain was heavy. there have been some blue skies. the best of the brightness in the south—east. this photos sent in by our weather watcher. this is what is going on in the pressure charts. this area of low pressure working in drawing colder air into the north, we will see some snow in parts of northern scotla nd see some snow in parts of northern scotland tomorrow morning. through tonight before that will stay windy across england and wales. heavy rain at times moving east. as the rain meets the cold air in the north it will turn to snow, even in lower levels. temperatures in the south in double figures but freezing in the north. it will be slow tomorrow morning for central and northern parts of scotland. a cold start the
day as well. as we move through the morning, the snow will move towards the east. behind it seeing some wintry showers following in and some wintry showers following in and some wintry showers following in and some wintry showers from northern ireland, southern scotland, northern england and if you feeding into wales. the best of the dry, bright weather in the south—east. a breezy day across england and wales. temperatures in the double figures in the south—east. highs of 1a degrees. we are starting to see temperatures fall from the north. that's thanks to being in this colder air mass than we saw at the beginning of the week. we had milder airand highs of 17 beginning of the week. we had milder air and highs of 17 but by the time we go into tomorrow we are firmly in the colder air. temperatures back into single figures. a cold start in the north with a touch of frost. wintry showers in the north—west, largely dry and bright across england and wales. that's all from the bbc news at six, so it's goodbye from me, and on bbc one we nowjoin the bbc‘s news teams where you are. hello.
this is bbc news with chris rogers. the headlines at 6:30 — the chancellor has used the budget to downgrade previous predictions for growth in the uk economy over the next five years. philip hammond said growth would be no higher than 1.6% between now and 2022. mr hammond announced that he was abolishing stamp duty forfirst time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, and said the government was planning for every possible outcome from the brexit process. we are at a turning point in our country's history. and we resolve to look forwards not backwards, to build on the strengths of the british economy, to embrace change, not hide from it, to seize the opportunities ahead of us, and together to build a britain fit for the future. i believe as the days go ahead and this budget unravels, the reality will be a lot of people will be no better off, and the misery many are in will be continuing.