Philip Hammond

The OBR is predicted to revise its growth forecast for the 2018-19 financial year from 1.4 to 1.7%

According to the EY ITEM Club think tank, which uses the Treasury’s economic models to produce its own figures, the OBR will revise its growth forecast for the 2018-19 financial year from 1.4 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

Additionally, it believes that the Budget watchdog will say that the deficit, the difference between how much the Government generates through taxes and other income and how much it borrows, will be £43billion for 2017/18.

That compares to the £49.9billion predicted by the OBR in November.

ITEM Club senior economic advisor Martin Beck said: “The Spring Statement will be a bit happier. In November it was all doom and gloom, but growth last year was better than expected. I think that they will revise the economic forecast upwards, which means more tax receipts and more money available for things. On the deficit front, he will make the target: we have it at £43billion. Hammond is accumulating a war chest but we think he’ll bank the gains.

Philip Hammond

The deficit for 2017/18 is forecast to be £43bn, compared to the £49.9bn predicted by the OBR

The Spring Statement will be a bit happier. In November it was all doom and gloom, but growth last year was better than expected

Martin Beck

“He is a firm believer in deficit reduction, so it is unlikely that he will say anything about easing austerity.”

Growing numbers of teachers are falling deeper into debt as they struggle to cope with stagnant wages and rising living costs, according to Creditfix.

The UK’s largest personal insolvency practice said that it had seen a 60.8 per cent increase in the number of teachers seeking help with their debts over the past five years.

It added that the amount of debt held by indebted teachers rose 19 per cent over the course of 2017 to £16,999.

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