London, March 13: Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond desires to improve the country’s slow economic growth outlook in the run-up to Brexit, raising the prospect that he might relax his grip on public spending later this year.
Britain has cut its annual borrowing from 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, when it was reeling from the global financial crisis to around 2 percent now.
Encouraged by the fall in the deficit, some lawmakers in Hammond’s Conservative Party have urged him to spend more on an over-stretched health system, the military and other services.
Britain’s economy has slowed sharply since the Brexit vote in June 2016, going from being the leader in the Group of Seven to being its worst performer last year.
They want to check a rise in support for the opposition Labour Party which has promised to end the Conservative squeeze on public-sector pay and invest more in infrastructure.
Growth is also expected to be raised slightly in the following years, resulting in smaller budget deficits than thought in November although they are likely to be larger than the projections made before the Brexit vote.
Hammond has said he wants to wipe out Britain’s budget deficit altogether by the mid-2020s.