tv BBC News at Ten BBC News November 22, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
the chancellor says it's a budget to make britain fit for the future, but there's a sharp fall in the forecast for economic growth, for the years ahead. he delivered a sobering assessment of the economy, as the uk tackles brexit, and weak productivity. we are at a turning point in our 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. he announced that stamp duty for all first—time buyers will be abolished in england, wales and northern ireland, for homes up to £300,000. and he promised more cash for the nhs in england, though less than the service had
been hoping for and less than labour had been demanding. economic growth has been revised down, productivity growth has been revised down, business investment revised down, people's wages and living standards revised down. what sort of strong economy is that? we'll have the detail, and reaction to the second budget delivered by philip hammond this year. also tonight — mr mladic, sit. in the hague, the former bosnian serb commander, ratko mladic, is convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. zimbawe‘s former vice—president, emmerson mnangagwa, has returned home to succeed robert mugabe as head of state. and, we're all set for the start of the first ashes test, in brisbane. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news: chelsea are through to the last 16 of the champions league — with celtic and manchester united also in european action. good evening.
the chancellor, philip hammond, has delivered his second budget this year, warning that the economy is expected to grow more slowly than previously thought. he said the forecast for growth this year was being reduced from 2% to 1.5%, with successive downgrades, over the following years. despite that, mr hammond has found more money for the nhs, committing 2.8 billion over three years, to the overstretched health service in england. 0n housing, stamp duty will be abolished, for first—time buyers of homes up to £300,000, in england, wales and northern ireland. and on brexit, he's setting aside £3 billion, to be spent on plans for leaving the european union. the first of our budget reports tonight is from our political
editor laura kuenssberg. almost ready to go. a big day for downing street, whose grip for months has been shaky, to say the least. reporter: feeling the pressure, chancellor? the priority for number ten and 11, those powerful next—door neighbours... is this a make or break budget? ..was for today's events not to slip, to keep the budget tightly in their grasp. for the chancellor, the aim to be the steady national bank manager, not to tear up the rules altogether. knowing his ownjob, as well as the government's fortunes, would be shaped by what he was about to say. philip hammond. a cheerier start than mr hammond's usual demeanour suggests. i 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 forwards, not backwards. yet, with brexit hanging over him, the risks of no deal with the rest of the eu real and expensive. today, i am 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, though, with his ability to get through the speech. remember hers? i did take the precaution of asking my right honourable friend to bring a packet of cough sweets, just in case. cheering. but he had to reflect the worry felt by many around the country, and fess up 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
across the forecast period. what ministers want you to hear is their promise to spend billions more to get house—building going, and to make it cheaper to buy the first time. mr deputy speaker, 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 downpayment. it was one of the few surprises, stamp duty will go for good for first—time buyers on houses worth up to 300,000, that's the majority. but it's only expected to prompt around 3500 extra people to buy. after tory concern joined other parties‘ opposition, the chancellor promised to smooth the sharpest edges of the new benefit, universal credit. universal credit delivers a modern 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 paused, but families won't have to wait so long to receive the payment when they first claim. and they will be able to stay on housing benefit for longer. there was cash for more maths teachers, for research and development, but 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 a pay rise next year. with no obvious clangers so far from the chancellor, the government hopes 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. people's wages and living standards revised down. 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 very severe squeeze continuing in public services. we are pleased that this time, because it's never happened before, we have had an opportunity in shaping the thinking of the budget. a squeeze that will hang over firms and families around the country, a backdrop that the government at westminster will find hard to escape. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. as we've heard, today's budget was delivered against a backdrop of a slowing economy, with official predictions for growth downgraded, significantly, for the next five years. so, why have the forecasts changed, and where does it leave the government's finances as it faces the challenge of brexit, in the years ahead? 0ur economics editor kamal ahmed is here with his analysis. well, huw the big story of this budget is that significant economic growth downgrade.
brexit uncertainty, inflation, falling real incomes and low levels of productivity — they've all come together in a pretty unpleasant cocktail for the chancellor. how unpleasant is explained by the head of the official economic watchdog. the outlook for the economy over the next five years looks weaker than we forecast in march, primarily because we see less scope for productivity growth. public sector borrowing is lower today than we expected in march. but the revisions to our economy forecast weaken the outlook for tax receipts and put upward pressure on borrowing in future years. let's look at those prospects for the economy. last march the 0br predicted that economic growth would be 2% this year and then fall back a little and recover back to 2% by 2021. today a pretty aggressive cut to that forecast, just 1.5% growth, and remaining pretty much around that level until 2021. that's the lowest set of economic forecasts
since the early 1980s. then there's the productivity issue. the amount we produce per hour and the key to increasing the wealth of the economy and our wages. let's go back to that march forecast again. this line shows the hoped—for improvement. but it hasn't happened. and now the amount productivity increases will add to the economy has been downgraded, meaning less growth and lower tax receipts for the government. and that means it has less money to spend on public services. productivity is just the biggest problem that the uk faces alongside the brexit challenge. the investment that we're seeing today in skills, infrastructure, innovation is the way to do it. if we get it right we can grow our way out of austerity. the key to next year will be delivery. 2018 needs to be a year of real action. lower growth and lower productivity
means the chancellor has decided to borrow more to boost the economy. in march this was the amount the government expected to borrow, down to £16.8 billion by 2022. now, a very different story. yes, better borrowing figures for those first two years. tax receipts are up. but then, an increase. borrowing now forecast to be at a much higher £30.1 billion by 2022. mr hammond needs to pay for that extra funding for the nhs. and the £3 billion to prepare for brexit. will the chancellor ever reach the point of balancing the books? it's looking increasingly unlikely that we're going to get balanced books, even by the mid 2020s. 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—2020s, we'd have to have another
round of spending cuts over the early 2020s. given how hard it's been to get where we are i think that's going to be pretty tough. pretty tough indeed. two final thoughts — britain's growth downgrade comes as growth picks up across much of the rest of the world. and today's budget did little to fix that problem that affects so many millions of people — the fall in real incomes and that living standards squeeze. kamal ahmed, thank you, kamalahmed, thank you, our economic senator. housing was one of the main policy initiatives in the budget, with the abolition of stamp duty, for first—time buyers, on properties up to £300,000 in england, wales and northern ireland. that was part of a wider package, which the chancellor said was aimed at reviving the home—owning dream, across the uk. mr hammond set a target of building 300,000 new homes a year, by the mid 2020s. our home editor mark easton looks at the likely impact of the measures.
it was billed as a watershed budget to 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 to tackle the housing challenge. watching the chancellor in the show house here we've got young house—hunters in the bedroom, the council in the study, a worried resident in the dining room, and a housing association in the living room. the headline announcement was the abolition of stamp duty for first—time buyers on sales of up to £300,000. so, has the chancellor put a smile on the face of working couples like charlie and sophie who have a baby coming and need somewhere to start the family? well, removing stamp duty seems like a nice gesture but on the face of it it seems like it might push up house prices. i think certainly it's just a token gesture because when you're in a position like ours it's actually saving the deposit that's the difficult thing. the office for budget responsibility
tonight warned the stamp duty change will only lead to an extra 3500 first—time buyer purchases, and will push up prices. the chancellor's big ambition is to build 300,000 homes 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. is this a game changer in terms of social and affordable housing? no, i don't think so. we knew about the 2 billion for social housing already. some councils will benefit from the opportunity to increase their borrowing. but, game changer, no, i don't think so. the chancellor spoke of £41; billion in loans and other support to increase housing supply. but treasury documents show less than half of that is new money. the headline of 44 billion is good news but the devil is in the detail, i think. the main two takeouts for me are around employment training, so we've got the people there to build the new homes. and it's welfare reform and enabling
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. so, how do those worried about new development view this budget? we welcome the protection of green belt. we welcome the emphasis on brown field development high—density housing for towns and cities. but worry about the 300,000 target as to the pressure this puts on councils to push forward unsuitable schemes. the prime minister says fixing the broken housing market is her mission. this budget was billed as the day she began to deliver. the challenge can perhaps be counted in the 120,000 children who are homeless in england tonight. mark easton, bbc news, west berkshire. as expected, the chancellor responded to concerns
about the implementation of the government's major welfare reform, universal credit, by promising a number of measures. mr hammond said the £1.5 billion package, over five years, would help to cut waiting times and make it easier for claimants to receive an advance. 0ur social affairs correspondent, michael buchanan, reports from peterborough. recent budgets have tended to mean ill winds for benefit claimant, but today there was less of a chill in the air as the chancellor changed direction. in peterborough, universal credit was rolled out last week, leading many to fear the consequences. so from those who were moved on to the new benefit, a broad welcome for today's announcement. i think it's a good idea that they've listened to people and they're prepared to make changes so people don't have to worry about not having anything to live on. yeah, it's great that they're putting things in place, but it should have been a long,
long time ago. the changes to universal credit will cost the treasury £1.5 billion over the next five years. the value of advance payments will be doubled and people will get longer to repay them. that crucial first payment will be made quicker, typically after five weeks rather than six. and while all benefits currently stop when someone claims universal credit, in future housing benefit will continue to be paid. this announcement is a major climb down by the government who for months insisted that universal credit was working, but in the face of mounting evidence that claimants were building up rent arrears and forced to go to food banks and widespread opposition from everybody from the labour party to charities, they've been forced to act. while the new rules should alleviate a few of the problems with universal credit, some say the chancellor should have gone further. universal credit is rolling out a system were people are being made essentially worse off, and there was nothing today
to improve that situation. we wanted to see structural change to universal credit, so that people kept more of the rewards from work. today's changes won't come into effect until next year. so over the coming weeks, thousands of people will be moved on to a benefit that ministers now explicitly acknowledge is creating hardship. michael buchanan, bbc news, peterborough. the nhs in england is to get more money, nearly £3 billion over three years, and £350 million is to be made available immediately to relieve the pressures this winter. sir bruce keoch, the medical director of nhs england, called the level of funding "worrying" and is warning of longer waits for treatment. 0ur health editor, hugh pym, has the details. the neonatal intensive care unit at birmingham women's hospital. here, they have a clear view what future generations will need from the nhs.
the chief executive says the chancellor's new funding falls short of what's 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 additional locum staff or to pay existing staff overtime, but it's the same pool that we're asking to do extra work all the time. nhs england had called for a majorfudging increase, the budget dealfell short of that, but 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 out there 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, it's massive financially for everybody. you know, you struggle every month. every month, you're in your overdraft. there's 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 gap and longer waits for care are now unavoidable, which is worrying. hugh pym, bbc news, birmingham. let's have a brief look at some of the other measures announced in today's budget. they include the personal tax—free allowance rising to £11,850 and for higher rate tax payers the threshold rises 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. car tax for all but the cleanest diesel cars will go up from april, but there'll be no increase for diesel vans. and the vat threshold for small businesses will stay the same at £85,000. a few of the other measures mr hammond introduced today. in a moment, we'll speak to our political editor, laura kuenssberg, in westminster. first though, i'm joined by our business editor, simonjack. i suppose, really, isuppose, really, simon, the sense of the business world's reaction to the budget? the brief is don't stand on any landmines when he went after the self—employed trying to put up national insurance. he didn't put fuel duties on diesels. he didn't lower that vat threshold. when you have to register. he didn't ditch
the 17% corporate tax. there were arguments for doing that. he did bring forward a lowering of the rate at which business rates go up. there has been a big bearfor business. that will be worth £2.3 billion. they were pleased about that. he put some more money in this mega fund for productivity enhancements he has talked about from £23 billion to £31 billion. there was a plan to sell off the government's stake or a big chunk of the government's stake in rbs that will give them £15 billion to play with. that will be sold as a big loss. it was a rescue rather than investment. he hopes it will give a better return than the rbs shares and improve the long run performance of the economy. laura kuenssberg is in westminster. what does the budget tell us about the challenges ahead for the government? in terms of the big picture if the forecast, the forest of statistics in today's budget
prove to be right from the 0 brvp, it else us this government is going to be in charge of a country that is going to feel poorer for longer than expected. a country were voters are going to be still feeling the pinch in their wage packets for longer and the likely impact will be that voters will feel grumpier for longer about the kind of country that they are living in and the fact that after yea rs are living in and the fact that after years and years they are still feeling the pinch. it certainly means for this government the original tory dream of balancing the books in 2015 is now far, far, far in the distance. those george 0sborne of philip hammond's redcressor are dead and buried. the short—term politics of this feels something rather different. given how tumultuous the last six months have been, almost every time the government ministers have gone out of the house it seems as if something has gone wrong for them. in the short—term, philip hammond has achieved something today, there
has achieved something today, there has been so far no big mistake that suddenly emerged. there has been no glaring error. there may be some gremlins buried at the back of the red book, but so far it seems that the chancellor, who don't forget was under a lot of pressure today, has managed to get through this budget, a big set—piece, relatively mistake free. it was not the radical reboot that some tories had hoped for. it certainly does not make the government's long—term problems disappear, but given the scale of the drama here at westminster, the sense of chaos there has been sometimes around the government, at least getting through a budget without a big mistake does feel in, in some senses, a win. not necessarily a win for people around the country, but something like political peace. laura, many thanks once again for those thoughts there at westminster. laura kuenssberg. you can explore the impact of today's budget on households by going to our budget calculator.
just go to bbc.co.uk/budget and follow the links. you will find the calculator there for you. let's turn to the day's other main news. the former bosnian serb army commander, ratko mladic, has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the bosnian war in the 1990s. a tribunal in the hague ruled that he bore significant responsibility for the killing of 8,000 muslim men and boys at srebrenica and the siege of sarajevo, during which more than 10,000 civilians were killed. from the hague, our special correspondent, allan little, sent this report, which does contain some distressing images. 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 court room. in his absence,
thejudge carried on. the crimes committed rank among the most heinous known to human kind 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 8,000 men and boys, some as young as 12, and murdered them. 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 dzena na 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, were hundreds died. for this, mladic was convicted of murder, extermination and forced deportation. this is vikrit in 1982, today he welcomed the verdict. "this should send a signal across the world", he told me, "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 his installation as president. he fled to south africa when he was sacked by robert mugabe, starting a train of events which culminated in mr mugabe's resignation yesterday. this evening, mr mnangagwa has told crowds in harare that the country was witnessing the start of a new democracy. 0ur africa editor, fergal keane, sent this report from zimbabwe. this was a man who owned the moment, in front of a crowd that greeted him as a conquering hero and with a message of contempt for those he'd vanquished. "down with the traitors", he chanted. he said the zanu—pf train would keep rolling, but tempered that politicking with an affirmation
of this extraordinary moment in zimba bwe's history. today we are witnessing the beginning of a new democracy in our country. cheering. the crowd had gathered since early. "the crocodile is coming", they chanted. 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's 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 mnangagwa's more sinister legacy. this is air marshal perence shiri, who led the notorious fifth brigade during massacres in matabeleland soon after independence. how do you feel today, general shiri? do you have anything to say? are you happy? he's a close ally of the new president. what's very clear to me is that this is a welcoming party, not made up of old zimbabweans, but very much hardcore ruling party supporters. they celebrate together, but the ruling party is no longer a momolith, there are factions within factions and loyalty to the new leader will be dependent on him delivering change. well, 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.