>> The right on rule, Philip Armand.>> Bold or boring. The bets were on whether this budget would spend courageously to reassure a nervous economy or stick with austerity in the event another B word emerged.>> This budget, we choose a balanced approach.>> But that balance is a tricky one, given the prospect of slower growth and lower government revenues.
This year, GDP forecasts revised down to 1.5%, and to just 1.3 by 2019. Government borrowing expected to go up, with a budget deficit seen nearly doubling by 2021/22.>> Our debt is still too high and we need to get it down. Not for some ideological reason, but because excessive debt undermines our economic security leaving us vulnerable to shocks.
>> Shocks, like the other B of the day, Brexit.>> The negotiations on our future relationship with the EU are in a critical phase. We have already invested almost 700 million pounds in Brexit preparations. And today, I am setting aside over the next two years, another three billion pounds.
>> With 3 billion pounds adding little luster to a budget announcement that first saw Sterling weaken then pop back again to trade slightly higher as markets decided boring was the appropriate label after all.
tra spending on health and housing may raise hopes in those sectors. While elsewhere, a 12% cut in the price of beer will comfort those Brits who support Brexit as much as those want to drown their sorrows because of it.